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Wilford Woodruff 


History of His Life and Labors 


4 ' To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as 
I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 11 — Rev. 3:21. 



Salt Lake City, Utah 


Copyright by 









That which is perhaps best known about Wilford Woodruff 
is the fact that he kept throughout his long and eventful life a care- 
ful record, not only of his own life, but of the important affairs 
in the history of the Church. In bringing that journal within the 
compass of one volume, it has not always been easy to determine 
what was the most important for the pages of this biography. All 
his journals, covering thousands of pages, I have read with such 
discriminating judgment as I could bring to the task. The reader, 
therefore, need not be reminded that this biography contains only 
a small part, the most important part it is hoped, of the things he 

He was so careful and painstaking, and so completely devoted 
to the task of keeping a journal, that his writings have been sought 
in compiling much of the important data in Church history which 
has already been given to the world. His work, therefore, is not 
unknown to those familiar with Church history. Some of his life 
has been published in the Deseret News, and "Leaves from My 
Journal" contains important chapters. Magazines and Church 
publications have in them reminiscences which he has given to the 
readers of those periodicals at different times. 

All missionaries will be interested in the marvelous experi- 
ences which he had while working in the spread of the gospel 
message. Others will read with peculiar interest the recital of 
events in the travels of the pioneers from the Missouri River to 
Salt Lake Valley, and others will read with satisfaction the words 
that fell from the lips of those prophets with whom he was im- 
mediately associated — Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and John 

The life of Wilford Woodruff was full of marvels. It was a 
simple life in which he revealed his heart and his purposes freely. 
The frankness of his expressions, his care for details, and his con- 
scientious regard for the truth made him, perhaps, the best chron- 
icler of events in all the history of the Church. His journal re- 
veals not so much what he himself was thinking about the events 


concerning which he wrote as what others thought about them. 
In that respect they reveal wonderfully the spirit of the times in 
which he lived. 

At the close of the year 1895 in writing of his life, he says : 
"For twenty-one years I was a member of the legislative assembly 
of the Territory of Utah. 

"In 1875 I was appointed historian and general recorder of 
the Church and held that position until 1889. 

"On the completion of the Temple at St. George in 1877. I 
was appointed its President by Brigham Young. 

"Upon the accession of President Taylor, I became Presi- 
dent of the Twelve Apostles ; and in April 1889, I was sustained 
at the general conference as President of the Church. 

"By my direction the General Church Board of Education 
was founded in 1888 to direct the Church system of academies, 
high schools, and colleges, which has resulted in a great perfection 
of the organization. 

"From the beginning of my ministry in 1834 until the close 
of 1895 I have traveled in all 172,369 miles; held 7,655 meetings; 
preached 3,526 discourses; organized 51 branches of the Church 
and 77 preaching places; my journeys cover England, Scotland, 
Wales, and 23 states and 5 territories of the Union. My life 
abounds in incidents which to me surely indicate the direct inter- 
position of God whom I firmly believe has guided my every step. 
On 27 distinct occasions I have been saved from dangers which 
threatened my life. I am the father of 17 sons and 16 daughters. 
I have a posterity of 100 grandchildren and 12 great grandchil- 
dren." (At the present time, his grandchildren number at least 
145, and his great grandchildren, about 60.) 

The hand of God was so abundantly manifested in the life 
of Wilford Woodruff, that those who read this book, it is sin- 
cerely believed, will find it both faith-promoting and instructive. 
The book is given to the world in the sincerest belief that its pages 
will greatly add a fresh interest to the history of the Church, 
and reveal the subject of this sketch in such a manner as to make 
his wonderful labors more highly appreciated by those not inti- 
mately acquainted with him. 

M, F. Cowley. 
September, 1909. 


CHAPTER 1. page 


Chosen Spirit. — Divine Guidance. — Genealogy. — A Miller by- 
Trade 1 



Arms and Legs Broken. — Injury to Breast Bone and Ribs. — 
Drowned. — Frozen. — Scalded. — Other Escapes. — Life Pre- 
served by a Merciful Providence 5 



"Coming Events." — Wilford Woodruff's Interest in Religion.— 
Existing Religious Denominations. — Teachings of Scripture. — 
Father Mason, a Prophet. — Peculiar Process of Preparation. . 13 

EARLY DAYS, 1816-1833. 

A Fisherman. — Early Employment. — Noble Reflections. — Les- 
sons in Reading. — -Interest in the Bible. — Philo Woodruff's 
Strange Dream. — Mocking Deity. — Its Effects. — Peace of Mind. 
— Place of Prayer. — Happy Experiences. — A Baptism. — Reads 
of Mormons. — Notable Instance of Inspiration. — Removal to 
New York. — Azmon's Faith . . 2C 


BAPTISM, 1833. 

Elders Visit Richland, N. Y.— The New Message.— Wilford Wood- 
ruff's Testimony. — The Book of JMormon, — Healing Power. — 
Baptism. — Ordained a Teacher 32 


ZION'S CAMP, 1834. 

His First Call. — Leaves for Kirtland. — His Neighbors' Warning. — 
First Meeting with Prophet. — A Remarkable Prophetic Gift. — 
Zion's Camp. — Zelph. — Escape Mob at Fishing River. — Epi- 
demic of Cholera. — His Residence in Missouri. — Consecrations. 37 


CHAPTER 7. page 

A Prayerful Ambition to Preach. — Departure on Mission to 
Southern States. — Traveling without Purse or Scrip. — Treat- 
ment Received from Minister. — Tribulations. — A Remarkable 
Dream. — Its Fulfillment. — Preaching in Memphis. — Ordained 
an Elder. — Successful Labors. — Ordained a Seventy. — A Mob 
Court. — Return to Kirtland 46 

Wilford's First Attendance at Meeting in the Temple. — Called to 
Speak. — Church's Attitude Toward the Use of Liquor. — Wil- 
ford in the First Quorum of Seventy. — Receives Temple En- 
dowments. — Troubles in Kirtland. — Greatness of the Prophet 
Joseph. — Wilford's Marriage. — Receives a Patriarchal Blessing. 64 

Troubles at Kirtland. — Mission to Fox Islands. — Evil Spirits Cast 
Out. — Healing the Sick. — Visits His Home Enroute. — From 
Connecticut to Maine. — Description of Fox Islands. — Begins 
Ministry in Vinal Haven. — A Minister Comes to Grief. — Bap- 
tisms. — Excitement. — Return to Scarboro 70 

Again on the Fox Islands. — Opposition Increases. — Manifestation 
of the Gifts of the Holy Ghost. — Sign of the Prophet Jonas. — 
Wilford Visits A. P. Rockwood in Prison. — Baptizes His Fath- 
er and Other Relatives.— Birth of His First Child.— Called To 
Be One of the Twelve Apostles, and To Take a Foreign Mis- 
sion. — Assists Fox Islands Saints in Migrating to the West. — 
Mrs. Woodruff Miraculously Healed. — They Reach Quincy, 
Illinois 82 

Mobocrats Seek To Prevent the Fulfillment of a Revelation Given 
Through the Prophet Joseph Smith, but Are Disappointed. — 
Temple Corner-stone at Far West Laid. — Wilford Returns to 
Illinois. — The Prophet Joseph Liberated from Prison in Mis- 
souri. — A Survivor of Haun's Mill Massacre. — Selection of 
Nauvoo as a Place for the Settlement of >the Saints. — A Day 
of Gods' Power. — Many Sick Are Healed, and a Dying Man 



Raised to Life. — Incident of Wilford Receiving a Handkerchief 
from the Prophet Joseph. — Instructed as to What He Shall 
Preach on His Mission. — Lesson in Humility. — Warning 
against Treachery. — Wilford Starts on His Mission, Sick and 
without Money. — Experiences of His Journey to New York. — 
Sails for Liverpool, England . . 99 

Wilford's Arrival in England. — Missionary Work Begun. — Cast- 
ing Out a Devil. — Directed by the Spirit of the Lord to Anoth- 
er Field of Labor.— Meets with the United Brethren. — Many 
Conversions to the Gospel. — Ministers Hold a Convention To 
Ask Parliament for Legislation against the Mormons. — First 
Publication of the Book of Mormon and the Hymn Book in 
England. — The Millennial Star. — In the British Metropolis. — 
Unable to Secure a Hall To Preach in, the Elders Hold Street 
Meetings. — First Baptism in London.- 1 — Oppositon from Preach- 
ers. — Work of God Makes Marvelous Progress 114 

Rapid Increase of the Church in Great Britain. — Mysterious Spirit 
Personage Attempts to Strangle Wilford Woodruff, and 
Wounds Him Severely. — He Is Relieved and Healed by Three 
Heavenly Visitors. — First Placard of the Church Posted in 
London. — Death of Wilford's Daughter. — Difficult Missionary 
Work in and around London. — Arrival of Lorenzo Snow To 
Take Charge of the British Mission. — All of the Twelve Called 
Home. — Attending Various Conferences. — Springing of the 
Spaulding Story. — Wilford Bids Farewell to the Saints in 
Fields Where He Had Labored. — General Conference of the 
British Mission, and Only Occasion of the Twelve Apostles 
Acting as a Quorum in a Foreign Land. — Wilford's Departure 
for Home, and Arrival at Nauvoo. — Made a Member of the 
Nauvoo City Council 129 

Wilford Renders Aid to the Persecuted Saints. — His Care in Re- 
cording the Events, also Sermons and Sayings of the Prophet 
Joseph Smith. — Elder Woodruff's Humility, and Appreciation 
of the Work of Others. — At a Wesleyan Methodist Missionary 
Convention. — Letter from His Wife Announcing the Death of 
Their Daughter. — Revelation Foreshadowing the Troubles of 
the Saints in the Expulsion from Illinois 147 


CHAPTER 15. page 

IN NAUVOO, 1841. 

Prophetic Insight. — Teachings of the Prophet. — Baptism for the 
Dead.— Hyrum Kimball 154 


Building of the Temple. — Book of Moses. — Words of the Proph- 
et. — Nauvoo Legion. — Business Trip to St. Louis. — Return of 
Orson Hyde . 158 


Change in Governors of Missouri and Illinois. — Prophet's Release. 
— Discourse on Authority.— Signs in the Heavens. — New Arri- 
vals of Saints. — Death of Lorenzo Barnes. — Discourse on 
Knowledge. — Great Truths. — Prophet's Knowledge of Men. — 
Wilford Woodruff's Bond for Temple Funds. — Opposition to 
Revealed Truth.— Hell Defined.— Prophet Arrested.— His Re- 
lease 169 



Address of the Prophet on Constitutional Rights. — Orson Hyde's 
Call to Russia. — Prophet Explains His Position with Respect 
to Missouri. — Origin of Nauvoo Legion. — Political Explanation. 
— Departure of the Twelve for the East. — Brigham Young's 
Fidelity. — Phrenological Chart by O. S. Fowler. — Return of the 
Twelve to Nauvoo. — W. W. Sealed to Wife. — Adultery.— Gov- 
ernor of Missouri Again Issues Requisition for Prophet. — En- 
dowments 184 


Conduct of the Laws and Marks. — Discourse on Elijah by the 
Prophet. — The Celestial Law. — Prophet's Candidacy for Presi- 
dent of U. S. — Exploring Expedition to California Planned. — 
Joseph, Mayor of Nauvoo. — Hostility in Carthage. — Mischief- 
makers in Nauvoo. — The Prophet Talks on Politics 197 


CHAPTER 20. page 


Mission of the Apostles to the East. — A Warning to W. W. — A 
Sad Parting. — Political News of the Prophet Published. — W. 
W. Arrives in Boston, June 26. — The Martyrdom. — Its An- 
nouncement Reaches W. W. in Portland, Maine. — His Return 
to Boston. — An Epistle to the Elders and Saints in the World. 
— W. W. Visits His Old Home. — Return to Nauvoo. — Condi- 
lions in That City 204 



Sidney Rigdon's Claim to Guardianship. — Rigdon's Spiritual Con- 
dition. — Comparison of Sidney Rigdon and Frederick Williams. 
— Remarks of Brigham Young. — Meeting on Aug. 8, 1844. — 
Brigham Young Follows Sidney Rigdon in Address to the 
People. — Members of the Twelve Speak. — Vote on Question of 
Leadership 212 


The New Leadership. — Second Call to Great Britain. — Warning 
Against Leading Companies from Nauvoo. — Instructions To 
Finish the Temple and To Build up the City.— W. W. Visits 
Emma Smith and Others. — Parting Address to the Saints. . . 224 



Departure. — Route. — Visits Home of Solomon Mack. — A Peculiar 
Dream. — On the Ocean. — Copyright of Doctrine and Cove- 
nants. — Visit to Scotland. — Lemington. — Troubles in Nauvoo. 
Condition of the Mission. — Preparation for His Return. . . 233 



Dedication of the Temple in Nauvoo. — The Exodus to Council 
Bluffs. — Accident to His father. — Reaches Mt. Pisgah. — Meets 
Brigham Young. — Recruiting of the Mormon Battalion. — Col- 
onel Kane. Departure of the Battalion. — Organizations at 

Winter Quarters. — A Conference with the Chiefs of the Lead- 
ing Indian Tribes. — Explorations. — Remarks by President 
Young 247 


CHAPTER 25. page 


Arrival of Parley P. Pratt and John Taylor at Winter Quarters. 
— Organization of the Pioneers. — Manner of Forming Camp. 
— Horse Feed Enroute. — Pawnee Indians. — A Practical Joke. 
— Crossing Loup Fork 262 


Elijah Newman Healed. — Indians Attempt Theft. — Antelopes 
Killed. — Encounter with Indians. — A Buffalo Hunt. — Meet 
Traders from Laramie. — A Decision To Keep the North Bank 
of the Platte.' — Immense Herds of Buffaloes. — William Clay- 
ton's Mile Gage. — Letter Left for Next Company. — Descrip- 
tion of the Rodometer 271 



In the Red Man's Country. — Indian Customs. — Hunting Became 
Excessive. — Description of the Bluffs. — Guide. Board 409 Miles 
from Winter Quarters. — Chimney Rock. — Brigham Young 
Rebukes Card Playing and Frivolity. — Fasting and Prayer. — 
Arrive at Fort Laramie. — Ascending the Plateaux. — Word 
from the Mormon Battalion % . . . 283 

Ferrying the Missourians over the River. — Construction of Rafts. 
— Obtaining Provisions. — Ten Men Left at the Ferry. — Inde- 
pendence Rock. — Devil's Gate. — 175 Miles from Fort Laramie. 
South Pass. — Meet Major Harris, and Mr. Bridger. — Cross 
Green River. — Meet Samuel Brannon. — Independence Day. — 
Meet a Detachment of the Battalion. — Fort Bridger. — Report 
of the Missouri Company That Perished. — Reach Salt Lake 
Valley, July 24, 1847 297 



In Retrospect.— First Crop of Potatoes Planted.— The Beginning 
of Irrigation. — First Sunday. — Explorations South to Utah 
Lake. — Choice of Temple Block. — Address by Brigham Young. 
—Return to Winter Quarters. — Meet the Second Company of 
Pioneers. — Encounter with the Indians. — Reach Winter Quar- 
ters, Oct. 31, 1847.— First Presidency Organized, Dec. 27, 1847. 314 


CHAPTER 30. page 


In Winter Quarters. — Battle of Nauvoo Commemorated. — Organ- 
ization of Pottowatamie County. — Bids President Young and 
Saints Good-by. — Journey from Winter Quarters to Nauvoo. 
— From Nauvoo to Maine. — A Letter to His Wife. — Heal- 
ing the Sick. — Discovery of Gold in California 327 


Letter to Orson Pratt. — Baptism of His Father-in-law, Ezra Car- 
ter. — Labors in New England. — Meets Dr. JoLii M. Bernhisel. 
— Healing the Sick. — Interview with Col. Kane. — Hears Indian 
Chief. — Release from His Mission. — Return to the Valleys. — 
Conditions at the Frontier. — Stampede on the Plains. — Brig- 
ham Young Appointed Governor. — Salt Lake Temple Planned. 
— Salt Lake City Given a Charter. — Visit to the Southern Set- 
tlements. — Fourth Celebrated at Black Rock. — Celebrating of 
Twenty-fourth. — Death of His Step-Mother. — Judge Brocchus 
Speaks in Conference. — Beautiful Words of Patriarch John 
Smith. — -A Vote To Discontinue Use of Tea and Coffee. . . 336 

THE YEARS, 1852, '53, '54. 

Discourse of Brigham Young on Sin. — The Descendants of Cain. 
— Edward Hunter Chosen Presiding Bishop. — Parowan Stake 
Organized. — David Patten. — Talk on Dancing. — Death of Wil- 
lard Richards. — Jedediah M. Grant Chosen Counselor to Brig- 
ham Young. — Journey South. — Walker, the Indian Chief. — 
John Smith, Son of Hyrum Smith, Called To Be the Head Pa- 
triarch of the Church. — Visit North. — Legislature. — Philosoph- 
ical Society. . 350 



Education Promoted. — Adventurers. — Endowment House. — Presi- 
dent Young Speaks of the Resurrection. — Death of Judge 
Schafer. — Provo. — Work in Educational Societies. — In the Leg- 
islature at Fillmore. — Words of Confidence from Kanosh, an 
Indian Chief. — Some Peculiarities of Wilford Woodruff. — 
Poisoned 361 


CHAPTER 34. page 

Hard Times Were Difficult for Some To Endure.— Recording 
Church History.— Dedication of Historian's Office.— First 
Hand-cart Company.— The Reformation Inauguarated — Death 
of Jedediah M. Grant.— Suffering of the Hand-cart Companies. 
Heber C. Kimball's Dream 359 


CELEBRATION OF 24th, 1857. 

Words of Brigham Young.— Talk by the Indian Chief, Aropene. 

—Assassination of Parley P. Pratt— Return of Thomas B. 

Marsh to the Church.— Celebration of the Twenty-fourth in 

Big Cottonwood Canyon.— News of the Army's Approach. . 377 

WAR TIMES, 1857. 
Deposit of Church Records in Temple Foundation.— Approach 
of the Army.— Present of a Team.— John D. Lee.— Visit of 
Captain Van Vliet. — Lot Smith. — Col. Alexander Writes Presi- 
dent Young. — Communication from Governor Cumming to 
Governor Young.— Miraculous Escapes.— High Price of Salt 
at Army Headquarters. — Prediction of Calamity to the Na- 
tion.— A Poetic Tribute by Eliza R. Snow 384 

President and Congress of the U. S. Memorialized. — Words of 
Brigham Young. — Arrival of Col. Kane. — Governor Cumming 
Reaches Salt Lake City. — Migration Southward. — Delegates 
from Nicaragua. — Want Mormons To Move to Central Amer- 
ica. — Proclamation from President Buchanan. — Peace Commis- 
sion. — President of the Deseret Agricultural and Manufact- 
uring Society. — Indian War Threatened. — A Striking Dialogue. 
— The Mob Element. — Mogo's Deception. — Attacks on Presi- 
dent Young. — Greeley Visits Utah 396 

Embarks in Sheep Industry. — Adventures of One Gibson. — Lec- 
tures to Young Men in Police Court. — Counsel to Mission- 
aries. — Visit to Cache Valley. — Schools Investigated. — Cele- 
bration of the 24th. — Prophecies of Civil War. — Little Children 
in the Resurrection. — Brigham Young on Secession. — Death 
of Aphek Woodruff. — Governor Dawson 41! 


CHAPTER 39. page 

THE YEARS 1862-'63: 

Killing of Thieves. — John Baptiste, the Grave Digger. — Value of 
a Daily Journal. — Erection of the Salt Lake Theatre. — State 
of Deseret. — Foundation Stones of Temple Raised. — Indian 
Troubles on Bear River. — Visit of the Moquitches to Salt 
Lake City. — Their Customs. — Attempt To Arrest President 
Young. — Settlement of Bear Lake Valley. — Mining 421 


THE YEARS, 1864-65. 

Some Enjoyments. — He Visits a Condemned Man in Prison. — 
Troubles Made by Gibson on Hawaiian Islands. — Lorenzo 
Snow's Escape from Watery Grave. — Visit to Bear Lake Val- 
ley. — Remark of President Young in Logan. — Ordination to 
Apostleship of Charles C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, 
and Franklin D. Richards. — Hot Springs at Midway. — Second 
Inauguration of President Lincoln. — Treaty with Indians. — 
Colfax Visits Utah. — Jane Blackhurst 433 

THE YEARS 1866, '67, '68. 

New Year's Greetings. — Evil Spirits Rebuked. — Love for Little 
Ones. — Drawings in His Journal. — Mrs. Godbe's Dream. — 
Brigham Young's Remarks on the Atonement. — Sept. 5, 1867, 
Joseph F. Smith Selected as One of the Twelve. — Amasa Ly- 
man Dropped from Twelve. — School of the Prophets. — Move 
to Provo. — Grasshopper War. — Advent of the Railroad. — Re- 
markable Prophetic Utterances at Logan. — Visit to Sanpete. 
— Call to First Presidency of Geo. A. Smith. — Accident to 
His Son Ashael. — Summary of 1868. . 444 


THE YEARS, 1869, 70. 

Co-operative Movement. — Cove Fort. — Pronouncement Against 
Use of Wine. — Organization of Bear Lake Stake. — Visit of 
Schuyler Colfax. — The Godbe Movement. — Descendants of 
Cain.— Utah Central R. R. Completed. — Plural Marriage- 
Boston Board of Trade Visits Utah. — Sayings of Brigham 
Young. — The Newman-Pratt Discussion. — Martin Harris Re- 
baptized 456 


CHAPTER 34. page 

Hard Times Were Difficult for Some To Endure.— Recording 
Church History.— Dedication of Historian's Office.— First 
Hand-cart Company.— The Reformation Inauguarated.— Death 
of Jedediah M. Grant.— Suffering of the Hand-cart Companies. 
Heber C. Kimball's Dream 369 


CELEBRATION OF 24th, 1857. 

Words of Brigham Young.— Talk by the Indian Chief, Aropene. 

—Assassination of Parley P. Pratt— Return of Thomas B. 

Marsh to the Church. — Celebration of the Twenty-fourth in 

Big Cottonwood Canyon.— News of the Army's Approach. . 377 

WAR TIMES, 1857. 
Deposit of Church Records in Temple Foundation. — Approach 
of the Army. — Present of a Team. — John D. Lee. — Visit of 
Captain Van Vliet.— Lot Smith.— Col. Alexander Writes Presi- 
dent Young. — Communication from Governor Cumming to 
Governor Young. — Miraculous Escapes. — High Price of Salt 
at Army Headquarters. — Prediction of Calamity to the Na- 
tion.— A Poetic Tribute by Eliza R. Snow 384 

President and Congress of the U. S. Memorialized. — Words of 
Brigham Young. — Arrival of Col. Kane. — Governor Cumming 
Reaches Salt Lake City. — Migration Southward. — Delegates 
from Nicaragua. — Want Mormons To Move to Central Amer- 
ica. — Proclamation from President Buchanan. — Peace Commis- 
sion. — President of the Deseret Agricultural and Manufact- 
uring Society. — Indian War Threatened. — A Striking Dialogue. 
— The Mob Element. — Mogo's Deception. — Attacks on Presi- 
dent Young. — Greeley Visits Utah 396 

Embarks in Sheep Industry. — Adventures of One Gibson. — Lec- 
tures to Young Men in Police Court. — Counsel to Mission- 
aries. — Visit to Cache Valley. — Schools Investigated. — Cele- 
bration of the 24th. — Prophecies of Civil War. — Little Children 
in the Resurrection. — Brigham Young on Secession. — Death 
of Aphek Woodruff. — Governor Dawson 411 


CHAPTER 39. page 

THE YEARS 1862-'63: 

Killing of Thieves. — John Baptiste, the Grave Digger. — Value of 
a Daily Journal. — Erection of the Salt Lake Theatre. — State 
of Deseret. — Foundation Stones of Temple Raised. — Indian 
Troubles on Bear River. — Visit of the Moquitches to Salt 
Lake City. — Their Customs. — Attempt To Arrest President 
Young. — Settlement of Bear Lake Valley. — Mining 421 

THE YEARS, 1864-65. 

Some Enjoyments. — He Visits a Condemned Man in Prison. — 
Troubles Made by Gibson on Hawaiian Islands. — Lorenzo 
Snow's Escape from Watery Grave. — Visit to Bear Lake Val- 
ley. — Remark of President Young in Logan. — Ordination to 
Apostleship of Charles C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, 
and Franklin D. Richards. — Hot Springs at Midway. — Second 
Inauguration of President Lincoln. — Treaty with Indians. — 
Colfax Visits Utah. — Jane Blackhurst 433 

THE YEARS 1866, '67, '68. 

New Year's Greetings. — Evil Spirits Rebuked. — Love for Little 
Ones. — Drawings in His Journal. — Mrs. Godbe's Dream. — 
Brigham Young's Remarks on the Atonement. — Sept. 5, 1867, 
Joseph F. Smith Selected as One of the Twelve. — Amasa Ly- 
man Dropped from Twelve. — School of the Prophets. — Move 
to Provo. — Grasshopper War. — Advent of the Railroad. — Re- 
markable Prophetic Utterances at Logan. — Visit to Sanpete. 
— Call to First Presidency of Geo. A. Smith. — Accident to 
His Son Ashael. — Summary of 1868. . 444 


THE YEARS, 1869, 70. 

Co-operative Movement. — Cove Fort. — Pronouncement Against 
Use of Wine. — Organization of Bear Lake Stake. — Visit of 
Schuyler Colfax. — The Godbe Movement. — Descendants of 
Cain. — Utah Central R. R. Completed. — Plural Marriage. — 
Boston Board of Trade Visits Utah. — Sayings of Brigham 
Young. — The Newman-Pratt Discussion. — Martin Harris Re- 
baptized 456 


CHAPTER 43. pag*. 


Arrest of President Young and Others. — Experiences in Randolph. 
— Caught in a Snow-storm. — Reaches Salt Lake City. . . . . 470 

THE YEARS, 1872-74. 

Judge McKean. — Journalizing. — Early Church Historians. — Holy 
Ghost. — Visit to San Francisco. — Funerals of Pitt and Player. 
— Thomas L. Kane. — Garden of Eden. — Paralysis. — Earl Rose- 
bury. — Fall from a Tree 476 


Visit to Randolph. — Governor Axtell. — Visit of President Grant. 
— Visit of Dom Pedro, Emperor of Brazil. — Dedication of St. 
George Temple. — A Grand Birthday Celebration 485 



Death of His Son, Brigham Young Woodruff. — Prophetic Utter- 
ances. — Baptisms for the Signers of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence. — Death of Brigham Young Changes His Plans. — 
Funeral. — Visit to Logan. — Visit to St. George. — A Vision. — 
Old Folks' Excursion. — Zion's Board of Trade 499 


In Arizona. — An Epistle to the World. — Birthday Celebrated in 
St. George. — Travels in Arizona. — Hunt with Pelone, the 
Apache Chief. — A Visit to the Zunies. — Travels with Lot 
Smith.— Dream.— Letters 506 


In a Shepherd's Tent in Arizona.— A Revelation Given Jan. 26, 1880. 
—Organization of First Presidency.— Call to Apostleship of 
Francis M. Lyman and John Henry Smith 530 




Leonard Hardy's Birthday Party. — Prophecy Concerning Joseph 
F. Smith.— Death of Orson Pratt— Visit to St. George.— The 
Edmunds Law. — Oscar Wilde. — Conditions at St. Johns, Ari- 
zona. — Call of President George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant 
and Seymour B. Young. — Death of Captain Wlllam H. Hooper. 534 

THE CRUSADE OPENS, 1883-1885. 

Exemplary Deacons. — Adam-ondi-Ahman. — Visit to Colorado. — 
The Patriarchal Order of Marriage. — Andrew Burt. — Farm 
Life. — The Crusade Opens. — The Family Celebration of His 
Birthday.— Call of John W. Taylor.— Call of Wm. B. Preston. 
— Land Troubles in Arizona. — Dedication of the Logan Tem- 
ple. — A Visit to Snake River. Country, Idaho. — Growth of 
Children After the Resurrection. — Call of John Morgan. — In 
Exile. — Conference at Fish Lake 544 


Arrest of George Q. Cannon. — Governor Murray's Dismissal. — 
Death of President Taylor. — President Woodruff Appears in 
the Tabernacle. — Change in Federal Officers. — April, 1889, Wil- 
ford Woodruff Became President of the Church. — Visit to Cal- 
ifornia. — M. W. Merrill, A. H. Lund, and Abraham H. Cannon 
Called to Apostleship. — Senator Morgan Visits President 
Woodruff 557 



The Political Situation. — Visit to California. — The Manifesto. — Its 
Effects. — Sugar Industry. — Henry M. Stanley. — Deaths of 
Prominent Men. — Earthquake in Southern Utah. — Address to 
Irrigation Congress. — Interpretation of Manifesto. — Remarks 
at Brigham City on the Manifesto 567 


New Home. — Visit of President Eliot to Salt Lake City. — Com- 
pleting the Temple. — Amnesty. — Dedication of the Salt Lake 
Temple. — Visit to the World's Fair, Chicago. — Liberal Party 
Disbands 578 



Electric Power Plant in Ogden Canyon. — Saltair, — Death of His 
Brother, Thompson. — Temple Work for Benjamin Franklin. — 
An Optimist. — Death of A. O. Smoot of Provo. — Utah Stake 
Organized. — Trip to Alaska. 585 




Admission of Utah into the Union. — The Occasion Celebrated. — 
Political Struggles. — Birthday of Geo. Q. Cannon Celebrated. — 
April Conference, 1896. — Pronunciamento Regarding Political 
Matters. — Death of Apostle Abraham H. Cannon. — The Purity 
and Nobility of His Character Revealed to Prest. Woodruff. — 
Change of the Fast Day. — Great Celebration on His 90th Anni- 
versary, 1897. — Visit from Judge Kinney. — Pioneer Jubilee Cele- 
bration. — Letter to the King and Queen of Sweden. — Visits the 
Coast. — His Son Owen Called to the Apostleship. — Attends 
April Conference, 1898. — Goes to the Coast in August. — His 
Sickness. — Departs this Life September 2, 1898 591 

Funeral Services. 620 

Character Sketch. 639 

appendix A. Sidney Rigdon 652 

Appendix B. Address to the Saints of the British Isles. . . . 658 

Appendix C. Storm on Lake Michigan 674 

Appendix D. Rationality of the Atonement 676 

Wives of Wilford Woodruff 689 

Children of Wilford Woodruff 690 


Portrait of Wilford Woodruff Frontispiece 

Saw and Grist Mill at Birthplace, Facing page 97 

House at Nauvoo, 111 Facing page 177 

The Farmington Mill Facing page 385 

Grandfather Eldad Woodruff Homestead ..... Facing page 481 
The Last House of Wilford Woodruff. ..... Facing page 579 




A Chosen Spirit. — Divine Guidance. — Genealogy. — A Miller by Trade. 

Wilford Woodruff was the fourth president of the Church 
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He belonged to that class 
of men of whom the Lord said to Abraham, "These will I make 
my rulers.'' Of our primeval childhood that ancient Prophet in- 
forms us that the Lord stood among those that were spirits and 
He saw that they were good. Of these spirits the Lord said 
to Abraham, "Thou art one of them, thou wert chosen before 
thou wast born." If the Lord knew Abraham and Jeremiah 
before they were born in the flesh, He also must have known 
Wilford Woodruff in the spirit world. The latter's integrity 
and unbounded devotion to the worship and purposes of his 
God are not surpassed by any prophet of either ancient or 
modern times. Like those of ancient times, Wilford Woodruff 
was undoubtedly foreordained of God to a noble mission in life, 
and to the great responsibilities which he filled with honor and 
to the glory of God. To him there was a reality of the spirit 
world rarely enjoyed by men, he constantly felt the influence of 
spiritual associations which were above and beyond the ordinary 
affairs of life. That he had an existence prior to this probation 
in life, he never doubted. He felt that life was a mission to 
which he had been called and which in the goodness of God he 
had been permitted to fill. His own spiritual existence was never 
overshadowed by temporalities or by constant misgivings that so 
frequently beset the lives of other men. 

Wilford Woodruff looked upon the brotherhood of men as 


a natural sequence of his assurance that God was the Father of 
our spirits in a former life. He understood that prayer of the 
Savior addressing Himself to His Father in heaven. His own 
spirit was in harmony with the revelations of Christ. In the 
light of scriptural declarations and of his own spiritual nature, he 
was simply here in life in the performance of great duties which 
had been assgned him before the world was. He sincerely believed 
that in returning again to the God who had given him life he would 
have to account for his talents and his time. Speaking of the 
Athenians, Paul said : "God that made the world hath made of 
one blood all nations of men to dwell on the face of the earth, 
and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds 
of their habitation." 

In the life of Wilford Wodoruff there was unfolded day 
by day the duties and obligations that linked him with the chain 
of eternal life. When the new revelation of God to men in this 
dispensation broke in upon him he was happily prepared to enjoy 
the new light. To be a Latter-day Saint from the outset seemed 
as natural as to breathe the air of heaven. He marvelled at 
the purposes of God but did not wonder, and aoubt did not 
obscure from his vision the divine truth of this dispensation while 
he sojourned in the flesh. The love of God had always abounded 
in his heart, and the divine message found him eager and willing. 

He was not among those who sought divine assurance and 
spiritual satisfaction in some one creed of the day. The Bible 
was his highest authority and he believed implicitly in the divinity 
of its teachings. He was a devoted student of Holy Writ and 
prayerfully sought the gifts and blessings bestowed upon the 
Saints of old. He was waiting for precisely that which came 
to him and he took up the new mission of life with a strenuous 
desire to serve God and to be a witness that he was the same 
God yesterday, to-day, and forever. 

The story of Wilford Woodruff's life was consistent, faith- 
ful and in harmony with scriptural examples. The dealings of 
God with His children in other dispensations were always before 
his mind as illustrations and evidences. If the Bible * had been 
the chief consolation of his youth and the best evidence of 
divine purposes, it became doubly so when he became a Latter- 
day Saint. Nothing that God had done in former dispensations 


was too insignificant for his earnest consideration. Henceforth he 
was to speak in the name of the Lord, and act by the authority of 
divine command. He loved the memory of the ancient Prophets 
and strove earnestly to emulate their example. His life, there- 
fore, is marked by spiritual growth and a devotion to God's will 
that makes it an inspiration to all who knew him or who read the 
story of his life and teachings. He honored and magnified every 
office and calling conferred upon him from that of a teacher to 
the president of the Church. In this high station he laid down 
his life at the ripe age of ninety-one years. 

Wilford Woodruff was born March 1st, 1807 in the town of 
Farmington, Hartford County, Connecticut. He was the 
son of Aphek Woodruff. His grandfather was Captain 
Eldad Woodruff who was the son of Josiah Woodruff. Josiah 
was the son of Joseph whose father's name was John, the son 
of Mathew Woodruff. This is as far back as Wilford Woodruff's 
genealogy has been traced in America. It is claimed that John 
Woodruff of South Hampton, Long Island, is the first person 
in American history bearing the name of Woodruff. Whether 
he is related to Matthew Woodruff, the earliest known ancestor 
of Wilford in this country, has not been determined. President 
Woodruff says, that according to the ancient Book of Heraldry, 
one of his ancestors was Lord Mayor of London in 1579. 

His mother's name was Beulah Thompson. The family on 
his mother's side, for generations lived at Farmington, Connecti- 
cut. The Woodruff family name is English and is derived from 
the occupation of its bearers who in the days of William the 
Conqueror guarded the woods and forests for the use of noblemen 
and who were considered among the most honored officers in the 
land. From Wilford Woodruff's account of his forefathers 
it appears that they were hardy and long-lived people. He says : 
"My grandfather, Josiah Woodruff, lived nearly one hundred 
years. He possessed an iron constitution and performed a great 
deal of manual work up to the time of his death. His wife's 
name was Sarah. She bore him nine children : Josiah, Appleton, 
Eldad, Elisha, Joseph, Rhoda, and Phoebe. There were two of 
this family whose names are not given. My grandfather, Eldad 
Woodruff, was the third son of Josiah. He was born in Farming- 
ton, Hartford County, Connecticut in 1751. He likewise pos- 


sessed a strong constitution and it was said of him that for sev- 
eral years he performed more labor than any man in Hartford 
County. From over exertion and hewing timber he was attacked 
with rheumatism in his right hip which caused a severe lame- 
ness for several years before his death. He married Dinah Wood- 
ford by whom he had seven children: Eldad, Elizabeth, Samuel, 
Titus, Helen, Aphek, and Ozem. My grandfather died in Farm- 
ington from spotted fever in 1806 at the age of fifty-five years. 
My grandmother, Dinah, died in the same place in 1824 from the 
effects of a cancer in her breast; her sufferings were very great. 

"My father, Aphek Woodruff, was born in Farmington, 
November 11, 1778. He married Beulah Thompson who bore 
him three sons : Azmon, born Nov.29th, 1802 ; Thompson, born 
December 22nd, 1804; and myself, born March 1st, 1807. My 
mother died from spotted fever January 11th, 1808 at the age 
of twenty-eight years, leaving me a babe of fifteen months. My 
father married a second wife, Azubah Hart. She bore him six 
children. He was a man of a strong constitution and did a great 
amount of labor. At eighteen years of age he began work in a 
flour mill and saw mill and continued at his occupation there for 
about fifty years. Most of that time he labored eighteen hours 
a day. He never made any profession of religion until I baptized 
him into the Church of Jesus Christ on the first day of July, 
1838. He was a man of great charity, honesty, and integrity 
and made himself poor by giving to the poor. He was liberal 
in accommodating his fellow men by lending money and by be- 
coming surety for his neighbors. He generally said yes to 
every man who asked a favor at his hands." 

"I assisted my father in the Farmington mills until I was 
twenty years of age and continued in the occupation of a millei 
until I was thirty-one." 



Arms and Legs Broken. — Injury to Breast Bone and Ribs. — Drowned. 
— Frozen. — Scalded. — Other Escapes. — Life Preserved by a Merci- 
ful Providence. 

The journal of Wilford Woodruff contains a chapter 
he designates as a "chapter of accidents." It is given thus early in 
his biography as it reveals the purposes of an overruling Provi- 
dence whose mercies and guiding powers are remarkably mani- 
fested throughout a long and arduous career. He himself re- 
garded his escapes from death as an evidence of a destructive 
power that sought to thwart that special mission in life so 
wonderfully revealed in the subsequent chapters of this biography. 
His life throughout discloses a constant struggle against obstacles 
which he had to overcome. They are manifested in every degree 
of dfficulty, and to less courageous natures many of them would 
have been insurmountable. 

There are in his words which describe the misfortunes 
that overtook him no traces of envy, discouragement or despair. 
That others were born to an easier life did not awaken within 
him a spirit of envy or doubt. To his mind the joys or sorrows 
of this world were all subordinate to the will of an overruling 
Providence. While he did not complain, he did not ascribe his 
difficulties or dangers to fate. He was never so much concerned 
about the difficulty in surmounting an obstacle as he was about 
his ability through the goodness of God to do so. ''Evidently," 
he says, "I have been numbered with those who are apparently 
the marked victims of misfortunes. It has seemed to me at times 
as though some invisible power were watching my footsteps in 
search of an opportunity to destroy my life. I, therefore, ascribe 
my preservation on earth to the watchcare of a merciful Provi- 
dence, whose hand has been stretched out to rescue me from death 
when I was in the presence of the most threatening dangers. Some 
of these dangers from which I so narrowly escaped I shall here 
briefly describe: 

"When three years of age, I fell into a caldron of scalding 
water and although instantly rescued, I was so badly burned 


that it was nine months before I was thought to be out of the 
danger of fatal consequences. My fifth and sixth years were 
interwoven with many accidents. On a certain day, in company 
with my elder brothers, I entered the barn, and chose the top of 
a hay mow for a place of diversion. We had not been there 
long before I fell from the great beam upon my face on the 
bare floor. I was severely hurt, but recovered in a short time, 
and was again at play. . 

"One Saturday evening, with my brothers Azmon and 
Thompson, while playing in the chamber of my father's house, 
contrary to his instructions, I made a misstep and fell to the 
bottom of the stairs, breaking one of my arms in the fall. So 
much for disobedience. I suffered intensely, but soon recovered, 
feeling that whatever I suffered in the future, it would not be 
for disobedience to parents. The Lord has commanded children 
to obey their parents ; and Paul says, 'This is the first command- 
ment with promise.' 

"It was only a short time after this that I narrowly es- 
caped with my life. My father owned a number of horned cat- 
tle, among which was a surly bull. One evening I was feeding 
pumpkins to the cattle, and the bull leaving his own took the 
pumpkin I had given to a cow which I called mine. I was in- 
censed at the selfishness of this male beast, and promptly picked 
up the pumpkin he had left, to give it to the cow. No sooner 
had I got it in my arms than the bull came plunging toward me 
with great fury. I ran down the hill with all my might, the bull at 
my heels. My father, seeing the danger I was in, called to me 
to throw down the pumpkin, but (forgetting to be obedient) I held 
on, and as the bull was approaching me with the fierceness of a tig- 
er, I made a misstep and fell flat upon the ground. The pumpkin 
rolled out of my arms, the bull leaped over me, ran his horns into 
the pumpkin and tore it to pieces. Undoubtedly he would 
have done the same thing to me if I had not fallen to the 
ground. This escape, like all others, I attribute to the mercy 
and goodness of God. 

"During the same year, while visiting at my Uncle Eldad 
Woodruff's, I fell from a porch across some timber, and broke 
my other arm. 

"Not many months passed by before I was called to endure 


a still greater misfortune. My father owned a saw mill in ad- 
dition to his flour mill, and one morning, in company with 
several other boys, I went into the saw mill and got upon the 
headlock of the carriage to ride, not anticipatng any danger ; but 
before I was aware of it my leg was caught between the head- 
lock and the fender post and broken in two. I was taken to 
the house, and lay nine hours before my bones were replaced. 
That time was spent in severe pain; but being young, my bones 
soon knitted together, and in a few weeks I was upon my feet 
as usual, attending to the sports of youth. During this confine- 
ment my brother Thompson was my companion. He was suf- 
fering from typhus fever. 

"Shortly after this, upon a dark night, I was kicked in the 
abdomen by an ox; but being too close to the animal to receive 
the full force of the blow, I was more frightened than hurt. 

"It was not long before I made my first effort at loading 
hay. I was very young, but thought I had loaded it all right. 
When on tlie way to the barn, the wheel of the wagon struck a 
rock, and off went the hay. I fell to the ground with the load 
on top of me; this was soon removed, and aside from a little 
smothering I was unhurt. 

"When eight years of age, I accompanied my father, with 
several others in a one-horse wagon, about three miles from home, 
to attend to some work. On the way the horse became frightened, 
ran down a hill, and turned over the wagon, with us in it. We 
were in danger, but were again saved by the hand of Providence. 
None of us were injured. 

"One day I climbed an elm tree to procure some bark; while 
about fifteen feet from the ground, the limb upon which I stood, 
being dry, broke, and I fell to the ground upon my back. The 
accident apparently knocked the breath out of my body. A 
cousin ran to the house and told my parents that I was dead, 
but before my friends reached me I revived, rose to my feet, and 
met them on the way. v 

"When twelve years old I was nearly drowned in Farm- 
ington River. I sank in thirty feet of water, and was miraculously 
saved by a young man named Bacon. The restoration to life 
caused me great suffering. 

"At thirteen years of age, while passing through Farm* 


ington meadows, in the depths of winter, in a blinding snow- 
storm, I became so chilled and overcome with cold that I could 
not travel. I crawled into the hollow of a large apple tree. A 
man in the distance saw me, and, realizing the danger I was in, 
hastened to where I was. Before he arrived at the spot I had 
fallen asleep, and was almost unconscious. He had much diffi- 
culty in arousing me to a sense of my critical condition, and 
promptly had me conveyed to my father's house, where, through 
a kind Providence, my life was again preserved. 

"At fourteen years of age I split my left instep open with 
an ax which went almost through my foot. I suffered intensely 
from this injury, and my foot was nine months in getting 

"When fifteen years old I was bitten in the hand by a mad 
dog in the last stages of hydrophobia. However, he did not 
draw blood, and through the mercy and power of God I was 
again preserved from an awful death. 

"At the age of seventeen I met with an accident which 
caused me much suffering, and came nearly ending my life. 
I was riding a very ill-tempered horse, which, while going down 
a very steep, rocky hill, suddenly leaped from the road and 
ran down the steepest part of the hill, going at full speed 
amid the thickest of the rocks. At the same time, he commenced 
kicking, and was about to land me over his head among the rocks, 
but I lodged on the top of his head, and grabbed each of his 
ears with my hands, expecting every moment to be dashed to 
pieces against the rocks. While in this position, sitting astride 
the horse's neck, with neither briddle nor other means of guiding 
him except his ears, he plunged down the hill among the rocks 
with great fury, until he struck a rock nearly breast high, which 
threw him to the earth. I went over his head, landing squarely 
upon my feet almost one rod in front of the horse. Alighting 
upon my feet was probably the means of saving my life ; for if I 
had struck the ground upon any other part of my body, it would 
probably have killed me instantly. As it was, one of my legs was 
broken in two places, and both my ankles put out o± T place in a 
shocking manner. The horse almost rolled over me in his strug- 
gles to get up. My uncle saw me, and came to my assistance. 
I was carried to his house in an armchair. I lay from 2 o'clock 


in the afternoon until 10 o' clock at night without medical aid and 
in great pain, when my father arrived with Dr. Swift, of Farm- 
ington. The doctor set my bones, boxed up my limbs, and that 
night conveyed me eight miles in his carriage to my father's 
house. I had good attention, and although my sufferings were 
great, in eight weeks I was out upon my crutches, and was soon 
restored to a sound condition. 

"In 1827, while managing a flour mill for Aunt Wheeler, 
in Avon, Conn., I was standing upon one of the wheels, clearing 
away the ice. A man, not knowing I was in that position, hoisted 
the gate and turned upon the wheel a full head of water. The 
wheel started at once, my foot slipped, and I was plunged head 
foremost over the rim of the wheel into about three feet of water, 
My weight had drawn my legs out of the wheel, or I would 
have been drawn under a shaft and crushed to death. 

"In 1831, while in charge of a flour mill at Collinsville, 
Conn., I was standing upon one of the arms inside of a breast- 
wheel twenty feet in diameter, clearing off the ice. A full head 
of water was turned on suddenly. The wheel started instantly. 
I dropped my ax and leaped about twenty feet to the bottom 
of the wheel. As I struck the bottom, I rolled out against a 
rugged stone, with only two feet of clearance between the 
stone and the wheel. The latter caught me and rolled me out into 
the water below, where I found myself, much frightened, but 
thankful to Providence that no bones were broken. 

"The day that I was baptized into the Church of Jesus 
Christ of Latter-day Saints — December 31, 1833 — my horse, with 
newly calked shoes, kicked the hat off my head. If he had struck 
two inches lower, doubtless he would have killed me instantly. 
Ten minutes later, while driving the same horse and another 
hitched to a sled with loose boards on the bottom and no box, 
the boards slipped forward under the pole and struck the ground. 
This at once threw the boards up endwise, and pitched me for- 
ward between the horses. I held on the lines; the horses, 
frightened, ran down the hill, dragging me under the sled behind 
them. The road, however, was smooth, and I escaped without in- 

"In 1834, while traveling in Zion's Camp to Missouri, a rifle 
was discharged accidentally. The ball passed through three 


tents with a dozen men in each, and lodged in the axletree of a 
wagon, without injury to anyone; it passed within a few inches 
of my breast. Many others escaped quite as providentially as 
I did. 

"A few months later a musket, heavily loaded with buck- 
shot, and pointed directly at my breast, was snapped accidentally ; 
but it missed fire, and again the Lord preserved my life. 

"In April, 1839, in Rochester, Ills., I was riding upon the 
running-gear of a wagon. I sat upon the front axletree. The 
bolt came out of the coupling-pole, separating the wheels, the 
front from the rear; and my weight upon the front bolster and 
tongue turned the coupling-pole over on the horses' backs, turned 
the stakes upside down, which shut me between the bolster and 
tongue, but in such a manner that my head and shoulders dragged 
upon the ground. The horses took fright and ran into an open 
prairie. They dragged me for about half a mile, and notwith- 
standing my awkward position I managed to guide them so as 
to run them into the corner of a high worm-fence, where we 
landed in a pile together. I was considerable bruised, but escaped 
without any broken bones, and after one day's rest was able to at- 
tend to my labors again. 

"On the 15th day of October, 1846, while with the Camp of 
Israel building up Winter Quarters, on the west side of the 
Missouri River (then Indian country,) I passed through one of 
the most painful and serious misfortunes of my life. I took my 
ax and went two and a half miles upon the bluff to cut some 
shingle timber to cover my cabin. I was accompanied by two men. 
While felling the third tree, I stepped back of it some eight 
feet, where I thought I was entirely out of danger. There was, 
however, a crook in the tree, which, when the tree fell, struck a 
knoll and caused the tree to bound endwise back of the stump. 
As it bounded backwards, the butt end of the tree hit me in the 
breast, and knocked me back and above the ground several feet, 
against a standing oak. The falling tree followed me in its 
bounds and severely crushed me against the standing tree. I 
fell to the ground, alighting upon my feet. My left thigh and hip 
were badly bruised, also my left arm; my breastbone and three 
ribs on my left side were broken. I was bruised about my 
lungs, vitals and left side in a serious manner. After the accident 


I sat upon a log while Mr. John Garrison went a quarter of a 
mile and got my horse. Notwithstanding I was so badly hurt, 
I had to mount my horse and ride two and a half miles over an 
exceedingly rough road. On account of severe pain I had to 
dismount twice on my way home. My breast and vitals were so 
badly injured that at each step of the horse pain went through 
me like an arrow. I continued on horseback until I arrived at 
Turkey Creek, on the north side of Winter Quarters. I was 
then exhausted, and was taken off the horse and carried in a chair 
to my wagon. I was met in the street by Presidents Brigham 
Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards,, and others, who 
assisted in carrying me to the wagon. Before placing me 
upon my bed they laid hands upon me, and in the name of the 
Lord rebuked the pain and distress, and said that I should live, 
and not die. I was then laid upon my bed in the wagon, as 
my cabin was not yet done. As the apostles prophesied upon 
my head, so it came to pass ; I did not die. I employed no physi- 
cian, but was administered to by the elders of Israel, and nursed 
by my wife. I lay upon my bed, unable to move until my breast- 
bone began to knit together on the ninth day. In about twenty 
days I began to walk, and in thirty days from the time I was 
hurt, I returned to my laborious employment. 

*T have not now a lame limb about me, notwithstanding it 
all. I have been able to endure the hardest kind of manual labor, 
exposures, hardships, and journeys. I have walked forty, fifty, 
and, on one occasion, sixty miles in a single day. The only in- 
convenience I am now conscious of is that if I overwork, or take 
a severe cold, I feel it more sensibly in my breast and left side 
than I did before my last injury. I have given considerable space 
in recounting the foregoing peculiar circumstances which I have, 
experienced in life. A summary of what is here given may be 
briefly stated thus : I have broken both legs, one of them in two 
places; both arms, both ankles, my breastbone, and three ribs; I 
have been scalded, frozen, and drowned; I have been in two 
water wheels while turning under a full head; I have passed 
through a score of other hairbreadth escapes. The repeated 
deliverances from all these remarkable dangers I ascribe to the 
mercies of my Heavenly Father. In recalling them to mind I al- 
ways feel impressed to render the gratitude of my heart, with 


thanksgiving and joy, to the Lord. I pray that the remain- 
der of my days may pass in His service, in the building up of 
His kingdom." 

When one stops to reflect upon the character of the accidents 
and the manner of escape, he is impressed by the thought that 
they came along as part of the remarkable incidents of his life. 
They are marvels to be sure, but the whole life of Wilford 
Woodruff is a marvel. He was on the spot when the danger 
arrived. He never seems to have been disconcerted by it. He 
was so serene in his faith that he always had an assurance 
that all would end well, and he, consequently, is never found 
in a complainly mood, even when undergoing the severest pain. 
His patience, therefore, was a powerful factor in bringing to his 
life a large measure of confidence in the ultimate goodness of an 
overruling Providence. 



"Coming Events." — Wilford Woodruff's Interest in Religion. — Exist- 
ing Religious Denominations. — Teachings of Scripture. — Father Ma- 
son, a Prophet. — Peculiar Process of Preparation. 

Wilford Woodruff belonged to a group of men whose advent 
into the world characterized the first two decades of the nine- 
teenth century. Though in their own day, humble and obscure 
and held in contempt by mankind generally, their importance 
and the work accomplished by them grow in significance to the 
Latter-day Saints who are and have been for the past half cen- 
tury the greatest history makers in the world. Such men as 
Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, 
Lorenzo Snow, and Joseph F. Smith, whose administration of the 
affairs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has 
given them a prominent place in the world as well as in the 
Church, grow in historical magnitude as time goes on. Their 
respective administrations constitute distinguished landmarks in 
the history of a great people. 

There has been a mysterious something about North Ameri- 
ca, and indeed of the whole American continent, that has made 
it not only inviting to discoverers and adventurers, but an 
asylum to those who sought enlarged religious freedom and 
the development of institutions in harmony witli the ideals 
of progressive religious thought. What has been more remark- 
able to the welfare of this nation than the character of the men, 
who, standing upon foreign shores looked forward to it as a land 
of grand opportunities, were the men, the early patriots who 
gave to its government the highest wisdom of the age, and to 
social institution a broad foundation upon which all classes could 
securely rest their hopes, their ambitions, and their religious con- 

The institutions of our country have, nevertheless grown as 
time went on, and little by little conditions derogatory to the 
well-being and happiness of the people have given way to higher 
and be'ter standards of life. The opposition to slavery and its 
downfall enlarged the conceptions of individual liberty and of 


human rights. The traditions of ages have given way before the 
progress of modern enlightenment, and the country has afforded 
better opportunities for progressive and changing institutions 
than any other nation of the civilized world. The whole drift 
of American history has been in the direction of religious en- 
lightenment and political freedom. True, such enlightenment and 
freedom have met with stubborn resistance and have cost the 
best blood of the nation. The United States has been a country 
peculiarly marked for the greatest human endeavor. It has not, 
however, reached the acme of its possibilities nor has its work, 
however progressive, reached a finished state. If the lessons of 
the past in American history are important in any one respect, 
more than another, it is in the great truth that it is to be the stan- 
dard bearer, and the first in religion and government. 

In religion the nation is brought face to face daily more 
and more with the great religious problem known to the civilized 
world as Mormonism. The men who were instrumentalities of 
that new religion grow in importance as it makes its way in re- 
ligious and theological history. The lives therefore of such men 
as Wilford Woodruff not only have a distinct place in the lives 
and thoughts of their religious associates, but will also have 
an important position in the future history and development of 
religious thought. 

How such men as Wilford Woodruff came upon the stage 
at the particular time in the history of the Church, and what ex- 
ternal influences brought them into its folds are matter of peculiar 
interest to every student of Church history. What he himself 
thought of the new movement and how he was prepared to receive 
it is given here and there throughout his private journals in a 
manner to make the story of his life one of the most interesting in 
all the annals of the Church. 

He says : "At an early age my mind began to be exercised 
upon religious subjects, but I never made a profession of religion 
until, 1830 when I was twenty-three years of age. I did not 
then join any church for the reason that I could not find a body 
of people, denomination, or church that had for its doctrine, faith, 
and practices those principles, ordinances, and gifts which con- 
stituted the gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by flim and His 
apostles. Neither did I find anywhere the manifestations of the 


Holy Ghost with its attendant gifts and graces. When I con- 
versed with the ministers of the various denominations or sects, 
they would always tell me that prophets, apostles, revelations, 
healing ,etc, were given to establish Jesus Christ and His doc- 
trine, but that they have ever since been done away with be- 
cause no longer needed in the Church and Kingdom of God. 
Such a declaration I never could and never would believe. I 
did believe, however, that revelation, the gifts and graces, and the 
faith once delivered to the Saints — a faith which they have en- 
joyed in all ages when God has had an acknowledged people on 
the earth — could be done away with only through the disobedience 
and unbelief of the children of men. I believed every gift, office, 
and blessing to be just as necessary now to constitute the true 
Church of Christ and Kingdom of God as in any age of the 

"This belief was firmly fixed upon my mind for two reasons : 
first, from the study of the Bible I found that che principle 
of cause and effect was the same in all ages, and that the divine 
promises made were to all generations. At the same time, I found 
no changes in the gospel in the days of Christ and the apostles, 
or that there would be any change in the plan of salvation in the 
last days. I learned also from the Scriptures that many of the 
ancient prophets, that Christ and His apostles foresaw by inspira- 
tion and revelation that the Gentile nations would apostatize 
and turn away from the true faith and from the Church and 
Kingdom of God as the Jews had anciently done ; that there would 
be a falling away from the apostolic faith, from its doctrines and 
ordinances; that other systems would arise; that when these 
false systems should reach their fullness, the God of heaven would 
set up His Kingdom ; that an angel would restore the gospel ; and 
that it should be preached in all the world for a witness before 
the Savior should come to reign. I further believed that the 
gospel had been taken from the Jews and given to the Gentiles ; 
that the Gentiles had, as foretold by the prophets, fallen into 
apostasy; and that in the last days Israel should be restored 
and the promises concerning that people should be fulfilled. All 
these things I learned from the Scriptures and they made a lasting 
impression upon my mind. . 

"The second reason for my peculiar belief in such principles, 


teachings, and doctrines was that in the days of my youth I was 
taught by an aged man named Robert Mason, who lived in Sains- 
bury, Connecticut. By many he was called a prophet ; to my knowl- 
edge, many of his prophecies have been fulfilled. The sick were 
healed by him through the laying on of hands in the name of Jesus 
Christ, and devils were cast out. His son was a raving maniac. 
After praying and fasting for him nine days, he arose on the 
ninth day and commanded in the name of Jesus Christ the devil 
to come out of him. The devil obeyed and the boy was made 
whole from that very hour. This man instilled these principles 
into my mind as well as into the mind of my oldest brother 

"Father Mason did not claim that he had any authority to 
officiate in ihe ordinances of the gospel, nor did he believe that 
such authority existed on the earth. He did believe, however, 
that it was the privilege of any man who had faith in God to fast 
and pray for the healing of the sick by the laying on of hands. He 
believed it his right and the right of every honest-hearted man 
or woman to receive light and knowledge, visions, and revelations 
by the prayer of faith. He told me that the day was near when 
the Lord would establish His Church and Kingdom ,upon the 
earth with all its ancient gifts and blessings. He said that such 
a work would commence upon the earth before he died, but 
that he would not live to partake of its blessings. He said that 
I should live to do so, and that I should become a conspicuous 
actor in that kingdom. v 

"The last time I ever saw him he related to me the following 
vision which he had in his field in open day: T was carried 
away in a vision and found myself in the midst of a vast orchard 
of fruit trees. I became hungry and wandered through this vast 
orchard searching for fruit to eat, but I found none. While 
I stood in amazement finding no fruit in the midst of so 
many trees, they began to fall to the ground as if torn up by a 
whirlwind. They continued to fall until there was not a tree 
standing in the whole orchard. I immediately saw thereafter 
shoots springing up from the roots and forming themselves into 
young and beautiful trees. These budded, blossomed, and brought 
forth fruit which ripened and was the most beautiful to look 
upon of anything my eyes had ever beheld. I stretched forth 


my hand and plucked some of the fruit. I gazed upon it with 
delight; but when I was about to eat of it, the vision closed and 
I did not taste the fruit.* 

" 'At the close of the vision I bowed down in humble prayer 
and asked the Lord to show me the meaning of the vision. Then 
the voice of the Lord came to me saying: "Son of man, thou 
hast sought me diligently to know the truth concerning my 
Church and Kingdom among men. This is to show you that my 
Church is not organized among men in the generation to which 
you belong; but in the days of your children the Church and 
Kingdom of God shall be made manifest with all the gifts and the 
blessings enjoyed by the Saints in past agesT You shall live to 
be made acquainted with it, but shall not partake of its blessings 
before you depart this life. You will be blest of the Lord after 
death because you have followed the dictation of my Spirit in this 
life." ' 

"When Father Mason had finished relating the vision and its 
interpretation, he said, calling me by my Christian name : 'Wilford, 
I shall never partake of this fruit in the flesh, but you will and 
you will become a conspicuous actor in the new kingdom.' He 
then turned and left me. These were the last words he ever 
spoke to me unon the earth. To me this was a very striking 
circumstance. I had passed many days during a period of twenty 
years with this old Father Mason. He had never mentioned this 
vision to me before. On this occasion he said he felt impelled 
by the Spirit of the Lord to relate it to me. 

"The vision was given to him about the year 1800. He re- 
lated it to me in 1830, the spring in which the Church was or- 
ganized. Three years later when I was baptized into the Church 
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, almost the first person 
I thought of was this prophet, Robert Mason. Upon my arrival 
in Missouri with Zion's Camp, I wrote him a long letter in which 
I informed him that I had found the true gospel with all its bless- 
ings; that the authority of the Church of Christ had been 
restored to the earth as he had told me it would be; that I had 
received the ordinances of baptism and the laying on of hands ; 
that I knew for myself that God had established through Joseph 
Smith, the Prophet, the Church of Christ upon the earth. 

"He received my letter with great joy and had it read over 



to him many times. He handled it as he had handled the fruit 
in the vision. He was very aged and soon died without having 
the privilege of receiving the ordinances of the gospel at the 
hands of an elder of the Church. 

"The first opportunity I had after the truth of baptism for 
the dead was revealed, I went forth and was baptized for him 
in the temple font at Nauvoo. He was a good man, a true proph- 
et; for his prophecies have been fulfilled. There was so much 
reason in the teachings of this man, and such harmony between 
them and the prophecies and teachings of Christ and of the 
apostles and prophets of old, that I believed in them with all my 

" I had given myself up to the reading of the Scriptures and 
to earnest prayer before God day and night as far as I could 
years before I heard the fullness of the gospel preached by a 
Latter-day Saint. I had pleaded with the Lord many hours in 
the forest, among the rocks, and in the fields, and in the mill — 
often at midnight for light and truth and for His Spirit to guide 
me in the way of salvation. My prayers were answered and 
many things were revealed to me. My mind was open to the truth 
so much so that I was fully satisfied that I should live to see 
the true Church of Christ established upon the earth and to see 
a people raised up who would keep the commandments of the 

This beautiful and inspiring story of Robert Mason reads 
very much like that of Simeon of old, who, having received a 
divine response to his steadfast supplications, exclaimed: "Lord, 
now lettest thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word ; 
for mine eyes have seen thy salvation." 

In reading the history of the Church, one is constantly im- 
pressed by the striking comparisons between the events re- 
corded in Holy Writ and those which have been forerunners as 
well as accompaniments of the Church of Christ in this dis- 
pensation. The Spirit of God makes these analogies impressive, 
and they in turn confirm the faith of those who have received 
a testimony of the divine mission of Joseph Smith and of the 
purposes of God to be fulfilled by the Church in these last days. 
No wonder Wilford Woodruff's mind was open to the truth. 
No wonder that doubt or misgiving never beclouded his mind 


from the day that the new light broke in upon his understanding 
to the day of his death. His life is one of the most beautiful 
examples of a childlike faith that has ever been given to the 
world. The story of it is both faith-promoting and instructive. 
Ti r^ads like the stories of Holy Writ. 


EARLY DAYS, 1816-1833. 

A Fisherman. — Early Employment. — Noble Reflections. — Lessons in 
Reading. — Interest in the Bible. — Philo Woodruff's Strange Dream. 
— Mocking Deity. — Its Effects. — Peace of Mind. — Place of Prayer. 
— rlappy Experiences. — A Baptism. — Reads of Mormons. — Notable 
Instance of Inspiration. — Removal to New York. — Azmon's Faith. 

Much of the early life of Wilford Woodruff was passed 
in Farmington, Connecticut. He was a boy of great vitality 
and given to the sports incident to the community and the 
times in which he lived. He early developed a marked aptitude 
for fishing. In the stream which fed his father's mill there were 
spotted trout in abundance. These he learned to catch with 
great dexterity ; and his brother, being likewise an adept with the 
hook, the two acheived the reputation of being the most success- 
ful fishermen in the village. The sports of fishing and hunting 
which he practiced in early boyhood were enjoyed by him through- 
out his entire life. 

One is reminded in the story of his life that there were 
apostles of old who cast their nets for fish in the sea of Galilee. 
Like them, he too became a fisher of men. He was equally prompt 
in responding to the Master's call and equally ardent in promul- 
gating the new word of life he was authorized to publish. We 
are not told how many converts were the result of their missionary 
efforts, but it is quite within the bounds of truth to declare that 
no apostle of the last dispensation succeeded better than Wilford 
Woodruff in planting the message of the new dispensation in the 
hearts of his fellow-men. 

He attended the village district school in his early boyhood, 
a school located about two miles from his father's home. "In 
those days," he writes, "parents did not feel the importance of 
urging upon their children the advantages of education as they 
urge them today. In those times they felt that matters of education 
were wholly confined to the ideas and methods of the school teach- 
er." Wilford was an industrious boy. His mind was filled with 
lofty thoughts, and his education as time went on took on a 
religious character. He was by nature a devoted son and ob- 

EARLY DAYS, 1816-1833. 21 

served carefully the divine command which enjoined obedience 
to his parents. 

Aphek Woodruff, father of Wilford, was a generous-hearted 
man. He rarely refused to grant a favor even when it seemed 
probable that the favor might prove a loss to him. The father 
by his industry and frugality had acquired a respectable com- 
petency for those days. His property, however, soon dwindled 
away when those for whom he became security left him to meet 
their obligations. His possessions consisted of a large farm 
well stocked with cattle, a flour mill, a saw mill, and a carding 
machine. These had. cost years of toil and self-denial. Their 
loss to him saved his honor, but subjected his family to the hard- 
ships which the changed financial conditions brought about. These 
experiences of his father had much to do in the formation of his 
son's character, for the latter avoided debts and was scrupulous- v 
ly careful to make his word good in every business undertak- 

When Wilford was eight years of age, a strong religious 
revival took place in the town of Farmington. It was conducted 
chiefly by the Baptist Church ; the elders of that Church, Brocket 
and Quishman, preached in his father's home. They baptized 
his stepmother and several other relatives. His brothers, Azmon 
and Thompson, made some profession of religion. Wilford at- 
tended meetings, prayed, and tried to feel as others felt, but 
all to no purpose. Whatever of enthusiasm worked upon his 
feelings in the excitement of the meetings soon passed away 
and left his soul unfed by the bread of life. The next elder 
brother, Thompson, was in a similar condition. His eldest broth- 
er, Azmon, continued his interest and devotion until several years 
later when he embraced the fulness of the gospel. 

His father, having sold his property at Northington, moved 
back to Farmington where he was employed to run the flour mill 
owned by Cowles, Deming & Camp. This employment he con- 
tinued for twenty-eight years. Up to the year 1816 Wilford 
remained with his father. He attended school in Farmington 
until he was fourteen years of age. 

On the first of May, 1821, he went to live with Col. George 
Cowles with whom he remained two years. While there he at- 
tended school in the winter and worked upon a farm during the 


summer months. It was while living with Mr. Cowles that 
Wilford again witnessed a religious revival which was conducted 
by the Presbyterians, who were at that time the only sect in Farm 
ington. Of this second revival he writes : "I attended the meet- 
ings, inquiry, Sunday schools, and prayer meetings. I tried to 
get religion by effort and prayer, but my efforts created darkness 
instead of light and I was not happy in the attempt. They 
wanted us to give our hearts to God without telling us what to 
do or explaining any principle in a comprehensive manner. There 
were many young people at that time of my age who made a pro- 
fession of religion. I did not wish to make- a mockery of sacred 
things by professing light when I had received none, so I kept 
aloof from all professions." 

At this time the Woodruff family was undergoing a severe 
struggle for a livelihood. Young Wilford lived out, first with 
one and then with another, working hard during the summer 
and fall and attending school in the winter. In the year 1823 
while making his abode with Mr. Andrew Mills ne underwent 
his first attack of homesickness. "Mr. Mills was a proud and 
austere man," he writes, "I had never before lived at a place 
where I did not feel free and sociable, and there was no conver- 
sation between us except to ask or answer a question. I ate 
and slept very little there for two weeks. Relief, however, came 
to me when I started to school and made the acquaintance of my 
fellow students. My homesickness left me and never came 

"I returned home in 1825, soon after which my father made 
a contract with Mr. Horace Todd that I should work one year 
with him." The year, however, did not pass before the boy 
split his instep with an ax. This ended his service there, but his 
brother Thompson took the place there and worked the year out. 
"Thus we kept our contract." Wilford was crippled for nine 
months. At the end of that time he left home on horse back 
in search of work. Again misfortune overtook him. He was 
thrown from his horse and compelled to return home where he 
remained for some time. There was always a welcome in his 
home, because of the love and respect every member of the family 
entertained for him. 

Part of the time up to April, 1827, he remained at home, 

EARLY DAYS, 1816-1833. 23 

and part of the time he was engaged in working for other people. 
At that time he was twenty years of age and left his home never 
to return except as a visitor. He first went to live with his Aunt 
Helen Wheeler. He took her flour mill at East Avon on shares 
and worked it for three years. During that time he established 
himself in tnt trade of a miller. 

Notwithstanding his youth at the time of leaving home, 
his soul was full of deep and serious thoughts. They were enob- 
ling in their character and safeguarded the young man along the 
slippery paths of youth. Here are some of the reflections of those 
days: 'This is an important period of my life. As I leave my 
father's home to enter upon the stage of life to act for myself, to 
be my own counselor, and to form my own character in the 
broad open world, my mind is filled with serious reflections. I 
am full of anxiety — an anxiety which is painful to me. Should 
I outlive my parents, how long will it be before I shall follow 
them to the grave ? It will be said of them : 'They have gone the 
way of all flesh and their children will follow them into the same 
eternal world.' My age is an important period in the life of 
every man; for, generally speaking, at this period of life mai 
forms much of his character for time and eternity. How cautious 
I ought to be in passing this landmark along the road of my 
early existence ! I feel that I need care, prudence, circumspection, 
and wisdom to guide my footsteps in the path which leads to 
"honor and eternal life." 

Later on, referring to this same period of life, he says : "I 
reflected further upon the days of my youth which were gone, 
and upon the fleetness of time that had flown like an arrow to 
return no more. I reasoned thus : while walking through a rapid 
stream, we cannot tread twice in the same water, neither can 
we twice spend the same time. Then how ought we to prize 
the golden moments and measure time by our talents to the 
honor and glory of God and for the salvation of our souls; so 
that when the Lord comes, He may receive His own with usury. 

"In trying to comprehend the fleetness of time, I have asked 
myself these questions. Where is the old world? Where are 
the millions of the earth's inhabitants, including my own an- 
cestors? And where are the days of my youth? They are gone 


— all gone into the boundless ocean of eternity where T shall soon 
find myself." 

This remarkable state of his mind at that youthful period 
of life is so unusual in young men of that age tliat it is quite 
reasonable to suppose that he was undergoing a mental struggle 
on questions of right and wrong. It was not simply with him 
a question of good and bad ; his conscience told him what his con- 
duct ought to be in the presence of temptation. What he wanted 
to know, what he was yearning to learn was some positive rule of 
life that would govern and guide him in the formation of correct 
religious doctrines. 

In those times it was thought no evil to indulge in card play- 
ing and pastimes of a similar character. He occasionally took a 
hand in these games,but soon withdrew from such recreation,since 
he believed card playing to be a vice. His journal shows that 
he understood the dangers that arise from the so-called respect- 
ability of companionship when such companions are thought- 
less, indifferent, and self-indulgent. "The religious influence 
of such men," he writes, "where it is bad is most to be dreaded. 
The vulgar and dissipated will not have much influence over 
the man who intends to maintain a fair standing in society. On 
the other hand, the respectable man may lead him step by step into 
such evils that bring upon him, before he is aware of it, sorrow, 
disgrace, misery, and shame. 

"If I was ever led to stake anything at the card table, I had 
the providential good fortune to lose. There was thus cut off 
the natural encouragement to engage in such a vice. In all these 
recreations there was a spirit working within me which drew 
my attention to inner thoughts of a nobler sort until I lost all 
desire for cards and the ball room and for the company of those 
who enjoyed that kind of pleasure. So much was this the case, 
that I felt like a speckled bird in the midst of my companions. 
Indeed, I learned by experience and by the workings of the spirit 
of the Lord within my own soul that the transitory pleasures 
of human life do not in any way constitute true and lasting hap- 

Before launching out in business for himself, he says : "I 
had not acquired much taste for reading. Having at my disposal 
each day several leisure hours, I felt impressed that I must not 

EARLY DAYS, 1816-1833. 25 

squander time in idleness. I did not care for novel reading. 
I believed it to be useless. Nor had I much taste for history, 
having read but little of it. One day while reading a school 
book, I came across these remarkable words : 'He that will spend 
his life in that manner which is most exaltant will find that 
custom will render it most delightsome/ " 

These words made a strong impression upon his mind. He 
at once began to read history. At first he read too much at a 
time to remember, to digest, and to profit by it. After a judicious 
regulation of this mental pastime, he read carefully histories of 
the United States, England, Scotland, Greece, and Rome. He 
read Rollin's Ancient History, Josephus, and other books. They 
became to him a delight, and from them he gained much that 
was helpful. 

"By perusing history," he writes, "we hold converse with 
men of judgment, wisdom, and knowledge. I finally took up the 
Bible as a study of history and I never found any history equally 
interesting until later on I read the Book of Mormon. While 
reading these books we converse, as it were, with the Lord and 
with His holy prophets and apostles. In studying the Word 
of the Lord we learn truths which cannot be acquired from any 
other source. Those books which contain the revelations of 
heaven are of far more interest than books containing merely 
the opinions, theories, and doctrines of men." 

During his further stay with his Aunt Helen, he encountered 
other religious revivals without any benefit to him further than 
to emphasize his convictions that the gospel in its purity was 
not among the people at that time and place. 

At that time he was called upon to mourn the demise of his 
beloved brother, Philo. A few months prior to his death, Philo 
dreamed that an angel from heaven was going through the streets 
of the town with a roll containing a list of those who should die 
during the year in that town. The angel approached Philo and 
unfolded to him the roll, at the same time he informed him that 
on November 27th there would be a funeral at his father's house. 
Philo recorded the dream in his journal. On the very day 
named by the angel his own funeral occurred at his father's 
home. The fulfillment of this strange dream made a lasting im- 
pression on Wilford's mind. 


The year following, another very remarkable circumstance 
occurred which was equally impressive to his thoughtful and 
spiritual mind. He writes : "I was called to sit up for the night 
with the remains of a young man named Henry Miller. He had 
been very wicked and profane. The day before his death, he at- 
tended a celebration of the nation's birthday, July 4th. The 
boy's father, who was a religious, God-fearing man, reproved the 
son for his profanity and wickedness. Shortly after this, he 
and his father were on the way to the field to get some hay when 
there suddenly arose a heavy shower accompanied by thunder 
and lightning. Henry made sport of the roaring elements and 
mocked God in the thunder. The next moment, while standing by 
his father's side, he was struck by a thunderbolt from 
heaven. I attended his funeral. The circumstances of his death 
made a lasting impression on me." 

Like many, for whom there is in store a remarkable religious 
future, Wilford was called to suffer financial reverses that he 
might learn how uncertain are the goods of this world and that 
he might feel the full force of that divine fiat: "Cursed is he 
that trusteth in riches; cursed is he that trusteth in man, or 
maketh flesh his arm." He had earned considerable money while 
running the flour mill for his Aunt Helen, but lost much of it by 
lending it to an unprincipled man, and by helping others who were 
unable to repay him. These peculiar experiences, temporal and 
spiritual, fortunes and misfortunes, accidents and trials among 
people away from his own home filled his soul with grave reflec- 
tions and brought him to take a stand relative to his own future 
course in life. He was high-minded, had no vices or bad habits,and 
his standard of purity and excellence was so high that he never 
indulged, in light-mindedness or in trifling recreations. To him 
they were grevious sins in the sight of God ; and he believed with 
the Prophet Joseph that they should be eschewed. He was con- 
stantly striving for a higher plane upon which he might firmly 
plant his feet. 

"I was twenty-three years of age ; and in reflecting upon the 
past, I became sincerely convinced that there was no real peace 
of mind or true happiness except in the service of God and in 
doing those things which would meet His approval. As far as my 
imagination would enable me, I brought before my mind all the 

EARLY DAYS, 1816-1833. 2/ 

honor, glory, and happiness of the whole world. I thought of the 
gold and the wealth of the rich, of the glory, grandeur, and power 
of kings, presidents, princes, and rulers. I thought of the mili- 
tary renown of Alexander, Napoleon, and other great generals. 
I cast my mind over the innumerable paths through which the 
giddy world travels in search of pleasure and happiness. In sum- 
ming up the whole matter in the vision of my mind, I had to 
exclaim with Solomon: 'All is vanity of vanities sayeth the 

" I could see that within a few years all would end alike in 
the grave. I was convinced that no man could enjoy true hap- 
piness and obtain that which would feed the immortal soul, except 
God was his friend and Jesus Christ his advocate. I was con- 
vinced that man became their friend by doing the will of the 
Father, and by keeping His comandments. I made a firm reso- 
lution that from then I would seek the Lord to know His will, to 
keep His commandments, and to follow the dictates of His Holy 
Spirit. Upon this ground I was determined to stand and to spend 
my future life in the maintenance of these convictions." It will 
be here easily seen that determination which led him through 
all the subsequent years of his life to do whatever he did for the 
glory of God. 

In May, 1830, he was employed to run a flour mill for Mr. 
Samuel Collins of Collinsville, Connecticut. At first he went to 
board with about thirty young men. These being of a worldly 
turn of mind, he did not enjoy their influence and therefore 
took up his residence in the family of Mr. Dudley D. Sackett. 

About this time, under the influence of a religious revival, 
his brother Asahel made profession of religion and seemed very 
devoted. Wilford became specially anxious to know the will of 
the Lord. "I prayed night and day, and the Lord blest me with 
much of His spirit. These began to be the happiest days of my 
life. I felt that the sun, moon, and stars; the mountains, hills, 
and valleys ; and that all creation were united in the praise of the 

"My work in the mill was very light and I passed much of 
my time in reading, in meditation, and in prayer. I read the 
Bible and it was like a new book to me. I received much light 
in perusing its sacred pages. If I was cast down, tried, or 


tempted, I found in it relief in connection with the Spirit of God. 
The religious reformation continued in Farmington and a number 
of my relatives were actively engaged in the service of the Lord 
according to the best light they had. Among them were my 
Uncle- Ozem Woodruff and his wife Hannah. They were good 
people and X was much attached to them, having lived with them 
a good deal in my early life. I enjoyed their society very much. 

"A short distance from the mill was a beautiful island upon 
the top of which was a level field covered with flowers. The 
island was surrounded by a rapid current of water dashing over 
the rocks. The banks of the current were thickly studded by tall, 
waving pines. I chose this pleasant retreat on the top of the 
island as my place of prayer and supplication. I retired to it 
many times, both by day and by night and offered up my soul in 
prayer to the Lord. I never shall forget the happy hours I spent 
alone in meditation and prayer upon that solitary island. When sit- 
ting there alone, there would come to my mind the words of 
Robert Pollock: 

'In the wide desert where the view was large, 

Pleasant were many scenes, but most to me 

The solitude of vast extent untouched by hand 

Whose nature sowed herself and reaped her crop; 

Whose garments were the clouds ; whose minstrels, brooks ; 

Whose lamps, the moon and stars ; whose organ choir, 

The voice of many waters; whose banquets, 

The falling leaves ; whose heroes, storms ; whose warriors, 

Mighty winds; whose lovers, flowers; 

Whose orators, the thunderbolt of God ; 

Whose palaces, the everlasting hills ; 

Whose ceilings, Heaven's unfathomable blue ; 

And from whose rocky turrets battled high 

Prospects immense spread out on all sides in air, 

Lost now between the welkin and the main, 

Now walked with hills that slept above the storm/ 

"The Lord blest me with joy and happiness such as I had 
never before enjoyed, doubtless because I was living up to the 
best light I had. I had no apostle or prophet to teach me the 
right way ; so I had to do the best I could. In my zeal to promote 

EARLY DAYS, 1816-1833. 29 

good, I got up prayer meetings in our village and prayed for 
light and knowledge. It was my desire to receive the ordinances 
of the gospel, as I could plainly see by reading the Bible that 
baptism by immersion was a sacred ordinance. In my eagerness, 
yet being ignorant of the holy priesthood and of the true 
authority to officiate in the ordinances of eternal life, I requested 
the Baptist minister to baptize me. At first he refused because 
I told him I would not join his church as it did not harmonize with 
the apostolic church which our Savior established. Finally after 
several conversations, he baptized me on the 5th of May, 1831. He 
also baptized my brother Asahel. This was the first and only gospel 
ordinance I sought for until I joined the Church of Jesus Christ 
of Latter-day Saints." 

Wilford continued with Mr. Collins for less than a year, but 
left him with the best feelings. The latter told Wilford that 
he would always be welcome at his home, and that as an honorable 
young man, worthy of trust, he would cheerfully give him any 
recommendations he desired. 

Wilford held himself aloof from membership in any of the 
churches. He visited their meetings and conversed with their 
ministers. He wanted to know why there were no more apostles 
and prophets. He was told that they were done away with, because 
they were no longer needed. Such a statement only intensified 
his disbelief in sectarian churches. 

On one occasion, after praying most earnestly to know about 
the people of the Lord, if any such there were on earth, he says : 
"The Spirit of the Lord said unto me: 'Go to my Word and I 
will there show thee my will and answer thy prayer/ I opened 
the Bible promiscuously, praying the Lord to direct me to that 
portion of his Word which would answer my prayer. I opened 
to the 56th Chapter of Isaiah. I was satisfied it was in response 
to my prayer. I felt that the salvation of God was about to be 
revealed and His righteousness come forth. I was also satisfied 
that I should live to see the people of God gathered. From this 
time on until the gospel found me I was contented and felt that 
I should trouble myself no more about the churches and the 
ministers. In our zeal my brother Azmon and I adopted the wor- 
ship of the Lord on Saturday instead of Sunday. I felt that a 
change from the seventh to the first day of the week was like- 


ly a perversion made by man without authority from heaven. ,, 
It was while staying with Mr. Cowles in the spring of 1832 
that he saw for the first time an account of the "Mormons/' 
These were described in a newspaper article as a new sect claiming 
to have new revelations and to be built upon the foundation of 
prophets and apostles the same as the ancient Saints. The editor 
of the newspaper ridiculed the Mormons, but Wilford was favor- 
ably impressed. From that time on he desired to see these new 
people; for if they enjoyed the gifts which were bestowed upon 
the ancient Saints, they were the very people for whom he was 

Soon after this he made a settlement with Mr. Cowles and 
arranged his affairs with a view of moving to western New 
York. Of the circumstances leading up to this change in his life, 
he writes: 'The spirit that was upon me day and night said, 
'Go to Rhode Island/ My mind was greatly exercised over the 
matter for I could not comprehend what it meant. I went to live 
with my brother Azmon until our departure for New York. After 
saluting him, I said: 'I wonder what the Lord warns of me in 
Rhode Island! The spirit of the Lord has rested upon me for 
two weeks and said, "Go to Rhode Island." ' In about an hour 
after this my brother Asahel arrived on a visit. After shaking 
hands with him, almost the first words he spoke were : 'I wonder 
what the Lord wants of me in Rhode Island! The spirit of 
the Lord has been upon me for two or three weeks and has told 
me to go to Rhode Island.! This caused us to marvel exceedingly. 
We had not seen each other for several months. My brother 
Azmon thought that as we were ready to go to New York, we 
better not go to Rhode Island. To this we consented with great 
reluctance. I felt sure it was our duty to go there, although at 
that time it was a mystery." 

Later on when the gospel came to them in New York, Wil- 
ford learned that if they had gone to Rhode Island they would 
have met Elders Orson Hyde and Samuel H. Smith and would 
have thus received the gospel at an earlier date than they did by 
at least one year. Had they gone to Rhode Island and received 
the gospel there, they would have undoubtedly gone direct to Kirt- 
la'nd, Ohio. As it was, they stopped in New York where they 
purchased a farm. 

EARLY DAYS, 1816-1833. 31 

This incident furnished an illustration of the safety of obey- 
ing the spirit of the Lord, even when the reason at the time is 
not apparent. The example of Adam is a further illustration of 
that same beautiful truth. "Adam, why dost thou offer sacri- 
fice ?" asked the angel. "I know not," was the reply, "save that 
God has commanded me." Such illustrations show the folly of 
basing one's conduct wholly upon experience, or upon the powers 
of human understanding. There are other lamps to guide our 
feet than that of experience or the wisdom of man. The incident 
is a striking illustration also of the untruth of that sometime 
infidel dogma which says: "We doubt all things in order to 
prove all things." It is better to hold with inspired men: "We 
believe all things from God in order to know all things." 

Wilford Woodruff and his brother Azmon bade their father 
good-bye. With $800, and a tin trunk each, they journeyed to 
Richland, Oswego County, New York. There they purchased a 
farm of 140 acres and a good dwelling house at a cost of $1,800. 
They paid the amount they had with them, the balance at a 
subsequent date. 

During their residence in Richland, the cholera made its ap- 
pearance in the United States. Azmon was seized by the dread 
malady. Of this circumstance and the faith of his brother, Wil- 
ford writes: "Azmon was a very peculiar person from his 
childhood. He was very strict in reading the Bible and in at- 
tending to his prayers. He enjoyed much of the spirit of the 
Lord and had considerable light. I was greatly edified by his 
teachings and conversations. When he was sick, he did not em- 
ploy a physician, but trusted in the Lord absolutely. In the fall 
of 1833 he had a very severe attack of the cholera. His wife and 
I laid our hands upon his head agreeable to his request and 
prayed for him. We asked the Lord to rebuke the disease and 
commanded it to depart from him. From that hour the cholera 
was checked. He was immediately healed. The next morning 
he was able to arise from his bed and walk. Such was his 
faith. He had passed through many ordeals of sickness and was 
always healed by the power of God and without medical aid." 

This recital brings us to the winter of 1833 when the full 
blaze of the gospel light was about to shine in splendor upon the 
soul of Wilford Woodruff. 


BAPTISM, 1833. 

Elders Visit Richland, N. Y— The New Message.— Wilford Woodruff's 
Testimony. — The Book of Mormon. — Healing Power. — Baptism. — 
Ordained a Teacher. 

The movement westward when Wilford Woodruff located ia 
Richland, New York was in full accord with the restless energy 
and ambitious purposes of a new and active generation. The move- 
ment called for the best talent and most ardent workers of those 
times. In Richland this young man gave his old time zeal to a 
new found occupation. What lay at hand to do he did with all his 
might. The duties and occupations of his life were with him never 
temporary, never makeshifts, and he never waited for something to 
turn up. Nor did the frequent interruptions in his occupations 
all through life ever give to him an unsteady aim, or a waning 
enthusiasm. When he plowed in the earth, he saw God's will 
in the furrows. There was divine harmony in the click of the 
mill, and the song of heaven in the warblings of the birds. He 
"settled down" in Richland with the fervent expectation that, God 
willing, it should be to him a permanent home. 

In the midst of the busy life he had taken up in his new 
home, there came to him a message of joy, a warning voice, to 
whose accents his soul had long been attuned. In the winter of 
1833, and on the 29th day of December, there came to his home 
two humble elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day 
Saints. They were Zera Pulsipher and Elijah Cheney. At the 
time of their appearance, he and his brother Azmon were away 
from the house engaged in their daily labors; but Azmon's wife 
knew very well the frame of mind, both of her husband and his 
brother Wilford. Their hopes and expectations had been the 
subject of conversation in their humble home. She therefore re- 
ceived the elders kindly and gave them to understand that her hus- 
band and his brother would be anxious to hear them preach 

According to the custom of the Mormon elders then, as now, 
a meeting was appointed at the schoolhouse and notices were cir- 
culated throughout the village. The story of this new experience 
is told by Wilford Woodruff in a simple and beautiful manner: 

BAPTISM, 1833. 33 

"Upon my arrival home my sister-in-law informed me of the 
meeting. I immediately turned out my horses and started for the 
schoolhouse without waiting for supper. On my way I prayed 
most sincerely that the Lord would give me His spirit, and that 
if these men were the servants of God I might know it, and that 
my heart might be prepared to receive the divine message they 
had to deliver. 

"When I reached the place of meeting, I found the house 
already packed. My brother Azmon was there before I arrived. 
He was equally eager to hear what these men had to say. I 
crowded my way through the assembly and seated myself upon 
one of the writing desks where I could see and hear everything 
that took place. 

"Elder Pulsipher opened with prayer. He knelt down and 
asked the Lord in the name of Jesus Christ for what he wanted. 
His manner of prayer and the influence which went with it im- 
pressed me greatly. The spirit of the Lord rested upon one 
and bore witness that he was a servant of God. After singing, 
he preached to the people for an hour and a half. The spirit 
of God rested mightily upon him and he bore a strong testimony 
of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon and of the 
mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith. I believed all that he said. 
The spirit bore witness of its truth. Elder Cheney then arose and 
added his testimony to the truth of the words of Elder Pulsi- 

"Liberty was then given by the elders to any one in the 
congregation to arise and speak for or against what they had 
heard as they might choose. Almost instantly I found myself 
upon my feet. The spirit of the Lord urged me to bear testimony 
to the truth of the message delivered. by these elders. I exhorted 
my neighbors and friends not to oppose these men; for they 
were the true servants of God. They had preached to us that 
night the pure gospel of Jesus Christ. When I sat down, my 
brother Azmon arose and bore a similar testimony. He was 
followed by several others." 

No more beautiful illustration of the manner in which this 
new message found its way into the homes of thousands of peo- 
ple could be given than that taken from the quotations herein 
given. The power of an elder's testimony has borne down upon 


the souls of men and women until like the Saints of old they 
have exclaimed: "Men and brethren, what shall we do." The 
spirit of this meeting was not only convincing, but controling 
in its power. No man arose to say nay. If there were present 
in that meeting a spirit of dissent, opposition, or hatred, it was 
quelled and silenced by the power of God manifested in the 
testimonies of those humble men. 

The Woodruff brothers were aroused to a spirit of investi- 
gation. They were full of hope and of grand expectations. They 
wanted to harmonize the new message with the word of God as 
pronounced in Holy Writ. They had rested heretofore their faith 
upon its teachings. In all matters religious, it had been their 
supreme guide. They were anxious to know more, and there- 
fore took the elders with them to their home and sat up late 
that night conversing upon the principles of the gospel. 

Wilford began at once to read the Book of Mormon. "As 
I did so," he writes, "the spirit bore witness that the record which 
it contained was true. I opened my eyes to see, my ears to hear, 
and my heart to understand. I also opened my doors to entertain 
the servants of God." He at" once became a living witness to the 
truth of the promise made in that book that whoso should read 
it with a prayerful heart should have a witness of its truth, and 
whoso should receive the record and not condemn it because of the 
imperfections which might appear in its language should know 
greater things to come. The spirit of that book brought divine 
harmony to his soul so wonderfully attuned to the spirit and 
language of the Bible. 

Those were days of grand opportunities for a soul that had 
been so long in a state of hunger and thirst after righteousness. 
The new message brought to him a new enthusiasm. On the 30th 
of the month, Wilford and the elders called upon Noah Holton, 
a preacher of the Freewill Baptist denomination, whose daughter 
was very ill. After listening to the elders for some time, Mr. 
Holton made a solemn covenant to go forward and be baptized 
if the Lord would heal his daughter. The elders laid their hands 
upon her and she was healed by the power of God. 

It was not a time for delay. These brothers had long waited 
for the message which had now brought the glorious tidings 
of a divine call. They would not delay obedience to those ordi- 

BAPTISM, 1833. 35 

nances which opened the door to the enjoyment of greater light. 
They asked for baptism at the hands of the elders. On Decem- 
ber 31st, the last day of the year, 1833, there assembled at the 
water's edge about 11 o'clock in the morning a large number of 
people who witnessed the baptism of Wilford Woodruff by 
Zera Pulsipher. There were baptized at the same time his brother 
Azmon, also two young ladies who had been healed the day be- 
fore. Of this circumstance he writes in his journal: "The snow 
was about three feet deep, the day was cold, and the water was 
mixed with ice and snow, yet I did not feel the cold." 

There was a public meeting held that night by candle-light 
and a large congregation assembled; but unlike the meeting that 
was first held, there was a spirit of opposition. After explaining 
to the people the ordinance of the laying on of hands, the elders- 
confirmed Wilford and his companions members of the Church 
by the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. Speaking 
of thrs meeting he says: "There was a good deal of darkness 
in the room; but when the congregation dispersed, the people 
took away with them that darkness. The Holy Ghost fell upon us 
and we had a time of great rejoicing. The next day, January 
1st, 1834, my brother Azmon reproached Noah Holton for his 
tardiness in receiving the gospel after he had made a covenant 
to obey it on condition that his daughter be healed. Holton 
received the warning and was baptized." 

The story of Wilford Woodruff's conversion was simply a 
continuation of the life carefully prepared to receive the new 
message, and to embrace in all sincerity the truth which it con- 
tained. What a similarity of experience is found in the lives of 
Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor, 
and indeed thousands of Latter-day Saints ! It was the same spirit 
of inquiry, the same profound and heartfelt desire to know 
the whole truth of God's existence and His divine purpose respect- 
ing the children of men. The truth is, the new spirit of a coming 
dispensation was upon them. Their hearts were strongly inclined 
to worship. They were eager to know how they should worship ; 
for they saw in the religious contentions of those days a spirit 
strange to the teachings of the Bible. They were in very truth, 
"Sheep who knew the shepherd's voice and a stranger they would 
not follow." 


There is something beautiful in the ambitions of Wilford 
Woodruff throughout a long life of great service. He was am- 
bitious to know the will of God and to be worthy of Divine appro- 
bation. If he could only be an active worker in the Church ol 
Christ; if the Lord would only receive him into Divine service, 
his ambitions would be realized. 

On January 25th, 1834, Elder Pulsipher organized the Saints 
in Richland into a branch of the Church. He ordained Wil- 
ford Woodruff to the office of a teacher and gave him a written 
license which embodied the certificate of his baptism and his ordi 
nation. "I felt," he writes, "that I could truly exclaim with the 
prophet of God, 'I had rather be a door-keeper in the house 
of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.' The fulne.-s 
of the everlasting gospel had come at last. It filled my heart 
with great joy. It laid the foundation of a greater and more 
glorious work than I ever expected to see in this life. I pray 
God in the name of Jesus Christ to guide my future life, that 
I may live to His honor and glory, and be a blessing to my fellow- 
men, and in the end be saved in His celestial kingdom, even so, 


ZION'S CAMP, 1834. 

His First Call. — Leaves for Kirtland. — His Neighbors' Warning. — 
First Meeting with Prophet. — A Remarkable Prophetic Gift. — 
Zion's Camp. — Zelph. — Escape Mob at Fishing River. — Epidemic 
of Cholera.^His Residence in Missouri. — Consecrations. 

Perhaps no man in the Church ever felt more profoundly 
the truth of the words, "God moves in a mysterious way His 
wonders to perform," than Wilford Woodruff. He was so in- 
tensely spiritual, so completely devoted to the service of God, 
that all through his life the miraculous manifestations of God's 
purposes were abundantly given. He had never based his faith 
upon miracles, they merely confirmed what he believed with all 
his heart and supported his ideas of the teachings of Holy Writ. 

Confirming the divine power which attended his baptism, 
the words of the Prophet Joseph contained in George Q. Cannon's 
history are here given : "In view of all that has since occurred, 
it is a remarkable fact that the Prophet recorded in his journal 
of the 31st of December, 1833, the fact that 'Wilford Woodruff 
was baptized at Richland, Oswego County, New York, by Zora 
Pulsipher/ and this was before the Prophet and the future apostle 
and president had ever met in the flesh. This is not the only 
mention of Wilford Woodruff in Joseph's diary prL>r to their 
meeting. In one place the Prophet notices that Wilford had 
been ordained a teacher. It was the 25th day of April, 1834, 
when Wilford Woodruff visited the Prophet at Kirtland, and from 
that time on until Joseph's death they were intimately associated. 
It was clear that Joseph felt the staunch worthiness of his young 
brother, and in relying upon him, the Prophet was leaning upon 
no weak or broken reed ; for Wilford Woodruff had then and has 
ever since shown the fidelity of a Saint, and the integrity and 
prophetic power of an apostle of Jesus Christ. He was one of 
the most faithful of all the men who were gathered near to the 
Prophet's person, to share his trials and his confidences. Wilford 
Woodruff never made any attempt to cultivate showy qualities, 
and yet he was always marked among his fellows ; his character- 
istic humility and unswerving honesty being sufficient to attract 


the attention of all who have known him. His is another of 
the names to be recorded with that of Joesph, and it is worthy to 
stand side by side with the names of Brigham Young and John 
Taylor, for he was as loyal to them as he and they were to Joseph, 
the first prophet of this dispensation." 

From the outset, the subject of this biography became a most 
ardent worker in the cause he had espoused. He was ordained 
a teacher and found immediate opportunity to give expression 
to his intense desire to declare his belief in the purposes of his 
Maker. He and the Brother Holton herein mentioned, shortly 
after their baptism, walked sixty-five miles to Fabius to hold a 

Events of far-reaching importance were rapidly closing in 
upon him. On the 1st of April, Elders Parley P. Pratt and 
Harry Brown arrived at Richland. They were there on an im- 
portant mission. They were in search of young and able-bodied 
men in the eastern branches of the Church — young men whose 
services were needed in Zion's Camp, an organization which 
at that time was being effected for the purpose of assisting in 
the redemption of Zion, and of carrying supplies to the suf- 
fering Saints who had been expelled by mob violence from their 
homes in Jackson County, Missouri. 

This was the first time Wilford Woodruff had met Parley 
P. Pratt, to whose instructions he listened with great interest 
and attention, and says he was greatly edified by what he had to 
say. Elder Pratt informed him that it was his duty to prepare 
himself to go up to the land of Zion. He accordingly settled 
up his business affairs, and bade good-bye to his brother and 
kinsfolk in Richland. 

On April 11th Wilford took Harry Brown and Warren 
Ingles in his wagon and started with them for Kirtland, Ohio. 
On the way he met for the first time Elders Orson Pratt and 
John Murdock. They all arrived in Kirtland April 25th, 1834 
Before he left Richland, many of his friends and neighbors 
warned him not to go, and declared that if he did go, he would 
be killed. He replied that the Lord had commanded him, and that 
he would go; that he had no fears of any evil consequences 
as long as he obeyed the Lord. 

He gives an account of his first meeting with the Prophet 

ZION'S CAMP, 1834. 39 

as follows : "Here for the first time in my life I met and had an 
interview with our beloved Prophet Joseph Smith, the man whom 
God had chosen to bring forth His revelations in these last days. 
My first introduction was not of a kind to satisfy the precon- 
ceived notions of the sectarian mind as to what a prophet ought 
to be, and how he should appear. It might have shocked the faith 
of some men. I found him and his brother Hyrum out shooting 
at a mark with a brace of pistols. When they stopped shooting, 
I was introduced to Brother Joseph, and he shook hands with me 
most heartily. He invited me to make his habitation my home 
while I tarried in Kirtland. This invitation I most eagerly ac- 
cepted, and was greatly edified and blest during my stay with him. 
He asked me to help him tan a wolfskin which he said he wished 
to use upon the seat of his wagon on the way to Missouri. I 
pulled off my coat, stretched the skin across the back of a chair, 
and soon had it tanned — although I had to smile at my first ex- 
perience with the Prophet. 

"That night we had a most enjoyable and profitable time 
in his home. In conversation, he smote his hand upon his breast 
and said, T would to God I could unbosom my feelings in the 
house of my friends/ He said in relation to Zion's Camp; 
'Brethren, don't be discouraged about our not having means. The 
Lord will provide, and He will put it into the heart of somebody 
to send me some money/ The very next day he received a letter 
from Sister Vose, containing one hundred and fifty dollars. 
When he opened the letter and took out the money, he held it up 
and exclaimed : 'See here, did I not tell you the Lord would send 
me some money to help us on our journey? Here it is.' I felt 
satisfied that Joseph was a Prophet of God in very deed." 

Prior to his departure with Zion's Camp, Wilford Woodruff 
became acquainted with many leading men and private members of 
the Church, some of whom were destined to be his co-laborers 
throughout subsequent years of his life. Besides the Prophet, the 
patriarch and their families, he became acquainted with Brigham 
Young, Orson Hyde, Milton Holmes, Sidney Rigdon, and many 
jthers whose names occur in the early history of the Church. 

"I passed one Sabbath in Kirtland," he writes, "and heard 
many of the elders speak. I rejoiced before God because of the 
light and knowledge which were manifested to me during that 


day. The first day of May, 1834, was appointed for the Camp of 
Zion to start from Kirtland. Only a few of those composing the 
Camp were ready. 

"The Prophet asked those who were ready, to go as far as 
New Portage and there await the arrival of those who would 
follow later. I left in company with about twenty men with 
baggage wagons. At night we pitched our tents. Climbing to 
che top of the hill, I looked down upon the Camp of Israel. There 
I knelt upon the ground and prayed. I rejoiced and praised the 
Lord that I had lived to see some of the tents of Israel pitched, 
and a company gathered by the commandment of God to go up 
and help to redeem Zion. 

"We remained at New Portage until the 6th when we were 
joined by the Prophet and eighty-five more men. The day before 
their arrival, while passing through the village of Middlebury, 
the people tried to count them, but the Lord multiplied them in the 
eyes of those people so that those who counted them said there 
were four hundred. 

"On the 7th, the Prophet Joseph organized the Camp which 
consisted of about one hundred and thirty men. The day follow- 
mg we continued our journey. We pitched our tents at night and 
had prayers night and morning. The Prophet gave us our instruc- 
tions every day. We were nearly all young men brought together 
from all parts of the country, and were therefore strangers to each 
other. We soon became acquainted and had a happy time in each 
others association. It was a great school for us to be led by a 
Prophet of God a thousand miles through cities, towns, villages, 
and through the wilderness. When persons stood up to count us, 
they could not tell how many we numbered. Some said five hun- 
dred, others, a thousand. Many were astonished as we passed 
through their towns. One lady ran to the door, pushed her spec- 
tacles to the top of her head, raised her hands and exclaimed: 
'What under heavens has broken loose.' She stood in that 
position the last I saw of her. 

"During our travels we visited many mounds thrown up by 
the ancient inhabitants, the Nephites and Lamanites. This morn- 
ing, June 3rd, we went on to a high mound near the river. From 
the summit we could overlook the tops of the trees as far as we 
could see. The scenery was truly beautiful. On the summit of 

ZION'S CAMP, 1834. 41 

the mound were stones which presented the appearance of three 
altars, they having been erected, one above the other, according 
to the ancient order of things. Human bones were seen upon 
the ground. Brother Joseph requested us to dig into the mound ; 
we did so ; and in about one foot we came to the skeleton of a man, 
almost entire, with an arrow sticking in his backbone. Elder 
Milton Holmes picked it out, and brought it into the Camp, with 
one of the leg bones, which had been broken. I brought the 
thigh bone to Missouri. I desired to bury it in the Temple Block 
in Jackson County; but not having this privilege, I buried it in 
Clay County, Missouri, near the house owned by Col. Arthur and 
occupied by Lyman Wight." 

The arrowhead referred to is now in the possession of Presi- 
dent Joseph F. Smith, Salt Lake City, Utah. 

"Brother Joseph," continues Wilford, "feeling anxious to 
learn something of this man, asked the Lord, and received an open 
vision. The man's name was Zelph. He was a white Lamanite, 
the curse having been removed because of his righteousness. He 
was a great warrior, and fought for the Nephites under the 
direction of the Prophet Onandagus. The latter had charge of 
the Nephite armies from the Eastern sea to the Rocky Mountains. 
Although the Book of Mormon does not mention Onandagus, 
he was a great warrior, leader, general, and prophet. Zelph had 
his thigh bone broken by a stone thrown from a sling, but was 
killed by the arrow found sticking in his backbone. There was 
a great slaughter at that time. The bodies were heaped upon the 
earth, and buried in the mound, which is nearly three hundred feet 
in height. 

"The Lord delivered Israel in the days of Moses by dividing 
the Red Sea, so they went over dry shod. When their enemies 
tried to do the same, the water closed upon the latter and they 
were drowned. The Lord delivered Zion's Camp from their 
enemies on the 19th of June, 1834, by piling up the waters in 
Fishing River forty feet in one night, so our enemies could not 
cross. He also sent a great hailstorm, which broke them up and 
sent them seeking for shelter. James Campbell, who had threat- 
ened the life of the Prophet and his brethren, was drowned, with 
six others, the same night, after his threat. His body was washed 
down the stream, and was eaten, by eagles and turkey-buzzards." 


The people of Richmond, Missouri, declared the Camp should 
not pass through that city; but on the morning of the 19th, before 
the people were up, the brethren passed through unmolested. "We 
intended to enter Clay County that day, but the Lord knew best 
what was for our good," says Wilford, "and so began to hinder 
our progress. One wheel broke down, another ran off, and one 
thing after another hindered us so that we had to camp between 
two forks of Fishing River. Five armed men soon rode up, and 
told us that large companies of men from Jackson and Clay 
Counties, and other parts, would be upon us before morning, and 
were sworn to encompass our descruction. 

"Shortly after these five men left us, a small cToud arose, and 
spread with great rapidity, until the whole heavens gathered 
blackness, and a mighty storm burst forth with fury upon our 
enemies. If the Camp had not been hindered, they would have 
crossed into Clay County, and would have been at the mercy of the 
mob. Thus the Lord, in a marvelous manner, preserved the lives 
of His servants. Colonel Sconce, who came into the Camp the 
next day, with several leading men, said that surely Jehovah 
fought the battles of Joseph and his followers." 

The Prophet addressed the visitors at some length, and re- 
counted the wrongs heaped upon the Saints in Missouri. His 
address touched the hearts of the visitors, bringing tears to their 
eyes. They promised to do all they could to allay the prejudice 
of the people. It appears from Wilford Woodruff's journal that 
they kept their word, and rode through the country endeavor- 
ing to allay the excitement. 

"Previous to this event," says Wilford, "Elders Hyrum Smith 
and Lyman Wight had joined the Camp with a company of volun- 
teers from Michigan. The Camp now consisted of two hundred 
and five men and twenty-five baggage wagons. Lyman Wight 
was made commander-in-chief. Joseph appointed twenty men 
to be his body-guard ; Hyrum Smith was captain, and George A. 
Smith armor-bearer. 

"The Camp of Zion arrived at Brother Burk's,in Clay County, 
Missouri on the 24th of June, 1834. We pitched our tents on 
his premises. He told some of the brethren of my company 
that he had a spare room which some of us might occupy if we 
would clean it. Our company accepted the offer; and, fearing 

ZION'S CAMP, 1834. 43 

that some other company would get it first, we left all other 
business and went to work, cleaned out the room, and immediately 
spread down our blankets, so as to hold a right to the room. It 
was but a short time afterwards that our brethren who were at- 
tacked by cholera were brought in and laid upon our beds. None 
of us ever used those blankets again, for they were buried with 
the dead; so we gained nothing but experience by our selfishness, 
and we lost our bedding. 

"When the cholera broke out in Camp, Joseph attempted to 
rebuke it, but was shown by the Lord that when He sends a judg- 
ment man must not attempt to stay it. (Joseph returned to me 
the sword which I had given him, and it still remains in my family 
as a relic of that expedition.) Those who died in Zion's Camp 
were A. S. Gilbert, John S. Carter, Eber Wilcox, Seth Hitch- 
cock, Erastus Ru<Jd, Alfred Frisk, Edward Jones, Noah Johnson, 
Jesse B. Lawson, Robert McCord, Eliel Strong, Jesse Smith, 
Betsey Parrish, and Warren Ingles. 

"The Prophet called the brethren together at Lyman Wight's 
and told them the cholera had been sent in fulfillment of his 
prediction. Nearly all had suffered from it, and fourteen had 
died. Joseph said that if we would now humble ourselves, the 
cholera would be stayed. We covenanted with uplifted hands Id 
keep the commandments of God, and the cholera was stayed from 
that hour ; not another case appeared among the Saints. 

"The journey of Zion's Camp to Missouri was necessarily 
one of trial and hardship. Several of the brethren murmured, 
and found fault. Joseph prophesied that a scourge would come 
upon the Camp, and it came in the form of cholera, thirteen of 
the brethren being stricken in death. During the journey, when 
brethren would have killed the serpents which at times came into 
the tents and coiled up near the beds, the Prophet taught his 
brethren the beautiful principle that, men themselves must be- 
come harmless before they can expect the brute creation to be so. 
When man shall lose his own vicious disposition and cease to 
destroy the inferior animals, the lion and the lamb may dwell to- 
gether, and the suckling child play with the serpent in safety/' 

In all the trials incident to the journey, Wilford Woodruff 
never murmured. He was a staunch supporter of the Prophet 
Joseph in all the latter's counsels and desires, and was so wrapt in 


the spirit of his calling and labor that it is doubtful if a thought 
of trial or hardship ever entered his mind. This was character- 
istic of his entire life. He never undertook a labor assigned 
him by the Lord and wished he had not undertaken it. When 
he put his hand to the plough, he never turned back. 

After the disbanding of Zion's £amp a great trial came to 
him. He was a devoted lover of his parents, brothers, and sisters, 
and had a deep interest in their salvation. Since he left New 
York, his brother Azmon had become disaffected, and wrote a 
long letter finding fault with the proceedings of the Church, en- 
deavoring to turn Wilford from his course. The effect upon 
Wilford, however, was a deep sorrow for his brother, and a 
stronger determination on his own part to live the life of a Latter- 
day Saint. He answered his brother's letter, explained the fallacy 
of the latter's arguments and complaints, warned him against 
opposing the Church, exhorted him to repent, and bore a solemn 
and unswerving testimony to the divinity of the calling and the 
upright, honorable course of life of the Prophet Joseph Smith. 

The Prophet advised all the young men with Zion's Camp 
who had no families to stay in Missouri, and not return to Kirt- 
land. "Not having any family," says Wilford, "I stopped with 
Lyman Wight, as did also Milton Holmes and Heman Hyde. We 
spent the summer together, laboring hard, cutting wheat, quarry- 
ing rock, making brick, or at anything else we could find to do. 
The Prophet organized the Saints in Zion, with a presidency 
of three, and a high council. On the 17th of July, 1834, he met 
the authorities of the Church at Lyman Wight's, where he gave 
us many glorious instructions, he being clothed with the power 
of God. He ordained the presidency and the twelve high council- 
ors. All present voted, with uplifted hands, to sustain the Prophet 
and the authorities of Zion. We had a glorious time. This was the 
last meeting I ever attended with the Prophet Joseph Smith 
in the State of Missouri. " 

Wilford Woodruff continued to attend faithfully to all of 
his religious duties. Illustrative of his zeal and earnestness is 
his action relative to what property he possessed. Notwithstnd- 
ing the Saints had been dispossessed of tfreir homes in their 
central city of Zion, where they had endeavored to carry out 
the principle of consecration, and were now in a broken and scat- 

ZION'S CAMP, 1834. 45 

tered condition, Wilford desired to comply with every law relative 
to Zion. On December 31, 1834, he consecrated to the Lord 
all his earthly possessions. "Believing it to be the duty of the 
Latter-day Saints," he writes, "to consecrate and dedicate all their 
property, with themselves,' unto God in order to become lawful 
heirs to the celestial Kingdom of God, I therefore, with this view, 
consecrated all I had (though but little) before Edward Partridge, 
the Presiding Bishop of the Church, in Clay County, Missouri, 
in this form : 'Be it known that I, Wilford Woodruff, do freely 
covenant with my God, that I freely consecrate and dedicate 
myself, together with all my properties and effects, unto the Lord, 
for the purpose of assisting in the building up of His Kingdom 
and His Zion upon the earth, that I may keep His law. I lay all 
before the Bishop of His Church, that I may be a lawful heir to 
the celestial Kingdom of God/ " 

The whole life of Wilford Woodruff shows that he would 
have been willing to do the same thing at any time, for the same 
purpose, even though his possessions could have been counted 
by the millions. He was whole-souled, and wholly given up to 
the service of his God and the welfare of His people. 



A Prayerful Ambition to Preach. — Departure on Mission to Southern 
States. — Traveling without Purse or • Scrip. — Treatment Received 
from Minister. — Tribulations. — A remarkable Dream. — Its Fulfill- 
ment. — Preaching in Memphis. — Ordained an Elder. — Successful 
Labors. — Ordained a Seventy. — A Mob Court. — Return to Kirt- 

After Wilford Woodruff received the gospel, he felt an in- 
tense desire to deliver in turn the same message that had brought 
him such joy, such assurance, such satisfaction in the service 
of the Master. The message that came to him was the most 
glorious event of his life, and it is quite natural that he should 
wish to be a messenger of the same divine truth to others. The 
talents with which he had been endowed by his Maker awakened 
within him those hopes, aspirations, and ambitions that were in 
harmony with those gifts which were peculiar to the man. His 
talents made him pre-eminently a messenger of salvation to the 
world. It is no wonder that he was prompted by a heartfelt 
desire to bestow upon others that which had come with such joy 
and with such abundance to him. 

He wanted to go on a mission, but felt that he should be 
called, and yet he sincerely believed that the Lord would prompt 
those whose duty it was to bestow upon him such an honor, such 
a privilege. He retired to the woods in prayer. There upon his 
knees in humility and childlike simplicity, he told the Lord his 
wishes and his hopes. He asked Him, if it was within His holy 
will, that the way might be opened for him to preach the gospel 
in the world. "Before I arose from my knees," he says, "the 
spirit of the Lord rested upon me and bore witness that my 
prayer was heard and should be answered upon my head. I 
arose very happy and walked through thick woods about forty 
rods into an open road. As I entered the roadway, I met Judge 
Elias Higbee. Brother Hibgee was a high priest and a very faith- 
ful man, one of the noblest men of God in the last days. I had 
associated with him daily, but never mentioned to him my desire 
to preach the gospel. To my surprise, as soon as I approached 


him he said : 'Brother Wilford, the spirit of the Lord tells me 
that you should be ordained to go and preach the gospel.' " 

A few days later, on the 5th of November, 1834, by vote of 
the branch of the Church at Adam-ondi-Ahman, Wilford Wood- 
ruff was ordained a priest by Simeon Carter who also ordained 
Stephen Winchester and Heman Hyde at the same meeting. He 
received his license and by appointment of Bishop Partridge 
was assigned to Arkansas and Tennessee. In eight days he left 
to perform his mission, to be one of the very foremost in intro- 
ducing the gospel into the Southern States — a section of the 
Union where, since then, so many thousands have received the 
gospel and have been gathered to Zion. His faith had been 
great. The spirit of the Lord rested upon him and his prayers 
were promptly answered. 

His stay in Missouri after his arrival there with Zion's Camp 
was not of long duration. The Saints had been driven from 
Jackson County and were busily occupied in building up new 
communities in other counties. He was then a young man without 
a family, and though actively engaged in every kind of work 
peculiar to the conditions of those times, he was free for almost 
any kind of service that might be required of him. The spirit 
of the man, however, was that of the missionary; and the spirit 
was so strong within him that he found satisfaction only when 
the opportunity came to give expression to his fellow-men of the 
testimony which had brought such consolation to his own life. 

"The law of God to us in those days," says Wilford in his 
journal, "was to go without purse or scrip. Our journey lay 
through Jackson County, from which the Saints had just been 
driven, and it was dangerous for a Mormon to be found in that 
part of the state. We put some Books of Mormon and some 
clothing into our valises, strapped these on our backs, and started 
on foot. We crossed the ferry into Jackson County, and went 
through it. In some instances the Lord preserved us, as- it were 
by miracle, from the mob. We dared not go to houses and get 
food, so we picked and ate raw corn, slept on the ground, and 
did any way we could until we got out of the county. 

"We dared not preach while in that county, and we did 
little preaching in the state of Missouri. The first time I attempt- 
ed to preach was on Sunday, in a tavern, in the early part of 


December, 1834. It was snowing at the time, and the room was 
full of people. As I commenced to speak, the landlord opened 
the door, and the snow blew on the people; when i inquired the 
object of having the door opened in a snowstorm, he informed 
me he wanted some light on the subject. I found that it was 
the custom of the country. How much good I did in that sermon 
I never knew, and probably never shall know until I meet that 
congregation in judgment. 

"In the southern part of Missouri and the northern part 
of Arkansas, in 1834, there were very few inhabitants. We visited 
a place called Harmony Mission, on the Osage River, one of the 
most crooked rivers in the West. This mission was kept by a 
Presbyterian minister and his family. We arrived there on Sun- 
day night at sunset. We had walked all day without anything to 
eat, and were very hungry and tired. Neither the minister nor 
his wife would give us anything to eat, or let us stay over night, 
because we were Mormons, and the only chance we had was to 
go twelve miles farther down the river, to an Osage Indian trad- 
ing post kept by a Frenchman named Jereu; and the wicked 
priest who would not give us a piece of bread lied to us about the 
road, and sent us across the swamp, where we wallowed knee-deep 
in mud and water till ten o'clock at night, in trying to follow the 
crooked river. We then left the swamp and put out into the 
prairie, to lie in the grass for the night. 

"When we got out of the swamp, we heard an Indian drum- 
ming on a tin pail and singing. It was very dark, but we traveled 
toward the noise, and when we drew near the Indian camp quite a 
number of large Indian dogs came out to meet us. They smelled 
us, but did not bark or bite. Soon we were surrounded by Osage 
Indians, and were kindly received by Mr. Jereu and his wife who 
was an Indian. She gave us an excellent supper and a good bed, 
which we were thankful for after the fatigue of the day. 

"As I laid my head upon my pillow, I felt to thank God from 
the bottom of my heart for the exchange from the barbarous treat- 
ment of a civilized Presbyterian priest to the humane, kind, and 
generous treatment of the savage Osage Indians. May God re- 
ward them both according to their deserts ! 

"We arose in the morning, after a good night's rest. I was 
somewhat lame, from wading in the swamp the night before. 


We had a good breakfast. Mr. Jereu sent an Indian to see us 
across the river, and informed us that it was sixty miles to the 
nearest settlement of either white or red men. 

"We were too bashful to ask for anything to take with us to 
eat; so we crossed the river and started on our day's journey 
of sixty miles without a morsel of food of any kind. We started 
about sunrise and crossed a thirty-mile prairie, apparently as 
level as a house floor, without shrub or water. We arrived at 
timber about two o'clock in the afternoon. 

"As we approached the timber, a large black bear came out 
towards us. We were not afraid of him, for we were on the 
Lord's business, and had not mocked God's prophets as did the 
forty-two wicked children who said to Elisha, 'Go up thou bald 
head,' for which they were torn by bears. When the bear got 
within eight rods of us he sat on his haunches, looked at us a mo- 
ment, and ran away; and we went on our way rejoicing. 

"We had to travel in the night, which was cloudy and very 
dark, so we had great difficulty to keep the road. Soon a large 
drove of wolves gathered around, and followed us. They came 
very close, and at times it seemed as though they would eat us 
up. We had materials for striking a light, and at ten o'clock, not 
knowing where we were, and the wolves becoming so bold, we 
thought it wisdom to make a fire; so we stopped and gathered 
a lot of oak limbs that lay on the ground, and lit them, and as 
our fire began to burn the wolves left us. 

"As we were about to lay down on the ground — for we had 
no blankets — we heard a dog bark. My companion said it was a 
wolf; I said it was a dog; but soon we heard a cowbell. Then 
we each took a firebrand, went about a quarter of a mile, and 
found the house, which was sixty miles from where we started 
that morning. It was an old log cabin, about twelve feet square, 
with no door, but an old blanket was hung up in the door-way. 
There was no furniture except one bedstead, upon which lay a 
woman, several children, and several small dogs. 

"A man lay on the bare floor with his feet to the fireplace, 
and all were asleep. I went in and spoke to the man, but did 
not wake him. I stepped up to him, and laid my hand on his 
shoulder. The moment he felt the weight of my hand he 
jumped to his feet and ran around the room as though he were 


frightened ; but he was quieted when we informed him we were 
friends. The cause of his fright was that he had shot a panther 
a few nights before, and he thought its mate had jumped upon 
him. He asked us what we wanted; we told him we wished to 
stop with him all night, and would like something to eat. He 
informed us we might lie on the floor as he did, but that he had 
not a mouthful for us to eat, as he had to depend on his gun to get 
breakfast for his family in the morning. So we lay on the bare 
floor, and slept through a long, rainy night, which was pretty hard 
after walking sixty miles without anything to eat. That was 
the hardest day's work of my life. The man's name was Wil- 
liams. He was in the mob in Jackson County; and after the 
Saints were driven out, he, with many others, went south. 

"We got up in the morning and walked in the rain twelve 
miles to the house of a man named Bemon, who was also one 
of the mob from Jackson County. The family were about to sit 
down to breakfast as we came in. In those days it was the custom 
of the Missourians to ask you to eat even though they were 
hostile to you ; so he asked us to take breakfast, and we were very 
glad of the invitation. He knew we were Mormons ; and as soon 
as we began to eat, he began to swear about the Mormons. He 
had a large platter of bacon and eggs, and plenty of bread on the 
table, and his swearing did not hinder our eating, for the harder 
he swore the harder we ate, until we got our stomachs full ; then 
we arose from the table, took our hats, and thanked him for our 
breakfast. The last we heard of him he was still swearing. I 
trust the Lord will reward him for our breakfast. 

"In the early days of the Church, it was a great treat to an 
elder in his travels through the country to find a Mormon ; it was 
so with us. We were hardly in Arkansas when we heard of a 
family named Akeman. They were in Jackson County in the 
persecutions. Some of the sons had been tied up there and 
whipped on their bare backs, with hickory switches, by the 
mob. We heard of their living on Petit Jean River, in the 
Arkansas Territory, and we went a long way to visit them. 

"Recently there had been heavy rains, and a creek that we 
had to cross was swollen to a rapid stream of eight rods in 
width. There was no person living nearer than two miles from 
the crossing, and no boat. The people living at the last house 


on the road, some three miles from the crossing, said we would 
have to tarry till the water fell before we could cross. Feeling 
to trust in God, we did not stop. Just as we arrived at the rolling 
flood, a negro, on a powerful horse, entered the stream on the op- 
posite side and rode through it. On making our wants known to 
him, he took us, one at a time, behind him and carried us safely 
over, and we went on our way rejoicing. 

"We arrived that night within five miles of Mr. Akeman's, 
and were kindly entertained by a stranger. During the night I 
had the following dream: I thought an angel came to us, and 
told us we were commanded of the Lord to follow a certain 
straight path, which was pointed out to us, let it lead us wher- 
ever it might. After we had walked in it awhile we came to 
the door of a house, which was in the line of a high wall running 
north and south, so that we could not go around. I opened the 
door and saw the room was filled with large serpents, and I shud- 
dered at the sight. My companion said he would not go into the 
room for fear of the serpents. I told him I would try to go through 
the room though they killed me, for the Lord commanded it. 
As I stepped into the room the serpents coiled themselves up, and 
raised their heads some two feet from the floor, to spring at me. 
There was one much larger than the rest, in the' center of the 
room, which raised his head nearly as high as mine and made 
a spring at me. At that instant I felt as though nothing but the 
power of God could save me, and I stood still. Just before the 
serpent reached me he dropped dead at my feet; all the rest 
dropped dead, swelled up, turned black, bust open, took fire and 
were consumed before my eyes, and we went through the room 
unharmed, thanking God for our deliverance. 

"I awoke in the morning and pondered upon the dream. 
We took breakfast, and started on our journey on Sunday morn- 
ing to visit Mr. Akeman. I related to my companion my dream, 
and told him we should see something strange. We had great 
anticipations of meeting Mr. Akeman, supposing him to be a 
member of the Church. When we arrived at his house, he 
received us very coldly, and we soon found that he had aposta- 
tized. He brought railing accusations against the Book of Mor- 
mon and the authorities of the Church. 

"Word was sent through all the settlements on the river for 


twenty miles that two Mormon preachers were in the place. A 
mob was soon raised, and warning sent to us to leave immediately 
or we would be tarred and feathered, ridden on a rail, and 
hanged. I soon saw who the serpents were. My companion 
wanted to leave ; I told him, no. I would stay and see my dream 

"There was an old gentleman and lady named Hubbel, who 
had read the Book of Mormon and believed. Father Hubbel 
came to see us, and invited us to make our honie with him while 
we stayed in the place. We did so, and labored for him some 
three weeks with our axes, clearing land, while we were waiting to 
see the salvation of God. 

"February 14th, 1835, was an important day to me. In com- 
pany with Brother Brown, I took my axe went into the woods to 
help Brother Hubbel clear some land. We chopped till 3 o'clock 
in the afternoon. The spirit of the Lord came upon me like a 
rushing of mighty wind. The voice of the spirit said, r Go up 
again and visit Mr. Akeman and again bear testimony to him 
of the truth of the Book of Mormon and of the work of God.' 
I marveled at this and told Brother Brown what the spirit said 
to me. He replied that I might go if I wished to do so, but 
that he would not go. I carried my ax to the house and walked 
up to Mr. Akeman's about ^ one and a half miles through a 
pleasant grove. While on my way I reflected upon this strange 
operation of the spirit within me. I was in a deep, gloomy frame 
of mind and thought. As I approached the house I saw the door 
open and Mr. Akeman walking the floor. I felt particularly 
impressed to ask if he was well. He said he never felt better 
in health. I told him I had come to bear testimony again to 
him of the truth of the Book of Mormon and of the work of 
God and of the danger of opposing that work. He was soon filled 
with wrath and indignation and he opposed me in the strongest 
terms and raged against the leaders of the Church. My mouth 
was more closed up than ever before. I felt that the house was 
filled with devils and with an awful darkness. I felt Horrible. I 
did not understand why the Lord should send me into the midst 
of such spirits to bear testimony of his work. I felt very 
strange. My tongue seemed glued to my mouth. I could not 


speak. I arose to my feet to leave the house. I felt as though 
the floor moved under my feet and when I stepped upon the 
ground I felt as though I was surrounded by evil spirits. I had 
a desire to llec as Lot did when he went out of Sodom, without 
looking behind me. Mr. Akeman followed me our of the door 
and kept within about four rods of me. Neither of us spoke a 
word. I knew he was following, but when he was about four 
rods from the house, the strange feeling left me. When Mr. Ake- 
man reached the place where my feelings so instantly changed, he 
fell dead at my feet as though he had been struck with a thun- 
derbolt from heaven. I heard him fall to the earth, but I did not 
look behind me. His daughter stood in the doorway and saw him 
fall. She fainted and fell at about the same time. Neither of 
them spoke a word that I could hear. I continued to walk down 
to Mr. Hubbel's as fast as I could, meditating all the while upon 
the strange dealings of God with me. I still did not know that 
Mr. Akeman was dead. I arrived at Mr. Hubbel's just at dark in 
a peculiar state of mind. Supper was ready. We all sat down 
to the table. The blessing was asked, and I took up my knife 
and fork and began to eat, when I heard a horse coming up on 
the full ran. I dropped my knife and fork and listened. A man 
rode up to our door and cried out: 'Mr. Akeman is dead. I 
want you to go there immediately/ In a moment my eyes were 
opened, so that I understood the whole matter. I felt satisfied 
with the dealings of God with me in calling me to go and warn 
him. As soon as his daughter, who fell to the ground about 
the same time, came to her senses, she ran to her nearest brother 
and gave the alarm. 

"We walked up to Mr. Akeman's house as soon as we could. 
When we arrived there, we found all his sons in the house around 
his body wailing in an awful manner. He was naturally a large 
man, but his body was swollen to a great extent. It appeared 
as though his skin were ready to burst open. He was black as an 
African. We at once went to work and made a large box in which 
to put him. I continued to think of my dream, which I had had 
some time before the events here related took place. 

"His family, as well as ourselves, felt it was the judgment of 
God upon him. I preached his funeral sermon. Many of the 


mob died suddenly. We stayed about two weeks after Akeman's 
death and preached, baptized Mr. Hubbel and his wife, and then 
continued on our journey. 

"We concluded to go down the Arkansas River and cross in- 
to Tennessee. We could not get passage on the boat, because 
of the low water; so we went on the bank of the river and cut 
down a sound cottonwood tree, three feet through, and cut off 
a twelve foot length from the butt end; in two days we dug out 
a canoe. We made a pair of oars and a rudder, and on the 11th 
day of March, 1835, we launched our canoe, and commenced our 
voyage down the Arkansas River, without provisions. 

"The first day we sailed twenty-five miles, and stopped at 
night with a poor family who lived on the bank of the river. These 
kind folks gave us supper and breakfast, and, in the morning, 
gave us johnny-cake and a piece of pork to take with us on our 
journey. We traveled about fifty miles that day, and at night 
stopped at an old tavern, in a village called Cadron, which was 
deserted because it was believed to be haunted by evil spirits. 
We made a fire in the tavern, roasted a piece of our pork, ate our 
supper, said our prayers, went into a chamber, lay down on the 
bare floor, and were soon asleep. I dreamed I was at my father's 
house in a good feather bed, and I had a good night's rest. 
When I awoke the bed vanished, and I found myself on the bare 
floor and well rested, not having been troubled with evil spirits 
or anything else. 

"We thanked the Lord for His goodness to us, ate the re- 
mainder of our provisions, and continued our journey down the 
river to Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas, which then consisted 
of only a few cabins-. After visiting the place, we crossed the 
river and tied up our canoe, which had carried us safely one hun- 
dred and fifty miles. We then took the old military road leading 
from Little Rock to Memphis, Tennessee. This road lay through 
swamps, and was covered with mud and water most of the way 
for one hundred and seventy miles. We walked forty miles in 
a day, through mud and water knee-deep. 

"On the 24th of March, after traveling some ten miles 
through mud, I was made lame with a sharp pain in my knee, 
and sat down on a log. My companion, who was anxious to get 
to his home in Kirtland, left me sitting in an alligator swamp. 


I did not see him again for two years. I knelt down in the mud 
and prayed, and the Lord healed me* and I went on my way 

"On the 27th of March I arrived at Memphis, weary and 
hungry. I went to the best tavern in the place, kept by Mr. 
Josiah Jackson. I told him I was a stranger and had no money, 
and asked him if he would keep me over night. He inquired 
what my business was, and I told him I was a preacher of the 
gospel. He laughed and said that I did not look much like a 
preacher. I did not blame him, as most of the preachers he ever 
had been acquainted with rode on fine horses or in fine carriages, 
dressed in broadcloth, had large salaries, and would likely see this 
whole world sink to perdition before they would wade through 
one hundred and seventy miles of mud to save the people. 

"The landlord wanted a little fun, so said he would keep 
me if I would preach. He wanted to see if I could preach. I 
must confess that by this time I became a little mischievous, and 
pleaded with him not to set me preaching. The more I pleaded 
to be excused the more determined Mr. Jackson was that I should 
preach. He took my valise, and the landlady got me a good 
supper. I sat down in a large hall to eat. Before I got through, 
the room began to be filled by some of the rich and fashionable 
people of Memphis, dressed in their broadcloth and silk, while 
my appearance was such as you can imagine, after traveling 
through the mud as I had done. When I had finished eating, the 
table was carried out of the room over the heads of the people. 
I was placed in the corner of the room, with a stand having a 
Bible, hymn book, and candle on it, hemmed in by a dozen men, 
with the landlord in the center. 

"There were present some five hundreds persons, who had 
come together, not to hear a gospel sermon, but to have some 
fun. I read a hymn, and asked them to sing. Not a soul would 
sing a word. I told them I had not the gift of singing ; but with 
the help of the Lord, I would both pray and preach. I knelt 
down to pray, and the men around me dropped on their knees. 
I prayed to the Lord to give me His spirit and to show me the 
hearts of the people. I promised the Lord, in my prayer, that 
I would deliver to that congregation whatever He would give 
to me. I arose and spoke one hour and a half, and it was one of 


the best sermons of my life. The lives of the congregation were 
open to the vision of my mind, and I told them of their wicked 
deeds and the reward they would obtain. The men who sur- 
rounded me dropped their heads. Three minutes after I closed, 
I was the only person in the room. 

"Soon I was shown to a bed, in a room adjoining a large 
one in which were assembled many of the men whom I had been 
preaching to. I could hear their conversation. One man said 
he would like to know how that Mormon boy knew of their 
past lives. In a little while they got to disputing about some 
doctrinal point. One suggested calling me to decide the point. 
The landlord said, 'No; we have had enough for once/ In the 
morning, I had a good breakfast. The landlord said if I came 
that way again to stop at his house, and stay as long as I might 

"After leaving Memphis, I traveled through the country to 
Benton County, and preached on the way, as I jiad opportunity. 
I stopped one night with a Squire Hardman, an Episcopalian. 
Most of the night was spent by the family in music and dancing. 
In the morning, at the breakfast table, Mr. Hardman asked me if 
we believed in music and dancing. I told him we did not really 
consider them essential to salvation. He said he did, and therefore 
should not join our Church. 

. "On the 4th of April, 1835, I had the happy privilege of 
meeting Elder Warren Parrish at the house of Brother Frye. 
He had been preaching in that part of Tennessee, in company 
with David W. Patten, and had baptized a number of persons 
and organized several small branches. Brother Patten had re- 
turned home, and Brother Parrish was laboring alone. I joined 
him in the ministry^ and we labored together three months and 
nineteen days, when he was called to Kirtland. During the 
time we were together, we traveled through several counties 
in Tennessee for the distance of seven hundred and sixty miles, 
and preached the gospel daily, as we had opportunity. We bap- 
tized some twenty persons. 

"By the counsel of the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver 
Cowdery, Elder Parrish ordained me an elder, and left me to 
take charge of the branches that had been raised up in that 
neighborhood. As soon as I was left alone I extended my cir- 


cuit and labors. For a season I had large congregations; many 
seemed to believe, and I baptized a number. 

"On the 15th of August I had an appointment at the house 
of Brother Taylor, the step-father of Abraham O. Smoot. I had 
to cross Bloody River, which I had to swim, in consequence of 
heavy rains. While crossing, my horse became entangled in a 
tree-top, and almost drowned; but I succeeded in getting him 
loose. We swam to the shore separately. He reached the shore 
first, and waited till I came out. I got into the saddle, went on my 
way in good spirits, and had a good meeting. 

"On the 20th of October I baptized three Campbellities, one 
of whom was a deacon. I then rode twelve miles to Mr. Green- 
wood's, who was eighty years old, and had been a soldier under 
General Washington. His wife, who was ninety-three years old, 
I found quite smart, and busy carding wool. I preached at 
their house and baptized both of them. 

"On the following day I preached at the house of Ben- 
jamin L. Clapp, and baptized seven Campbellites and one Baptist. 
On the 16th of November, I preached at Brother Camp's, and 
baptized three. On the day following, it being Sunday, I preached 
again at Brother Clapp's, and baptized five. 

"At the close of the meeting I mounted my horse to ride 
to Clark's River, in company with Seth Utley, four other breth- 
ren, and two sisters. The distance was twenty miles. We came 
to a stream which was so swollen by rains that we could not cross 
without swimming our horses. To swim would not be safe for 
the women, so we went up the stream to find a ford. In the at- 
tempt we were overtaken by a severe storm of wind and rain, 
lost our way in the darkness, and wandered through creeks 
and mud. But the Lord does not forsake His Saints in any of 
their troubles. While we were in the woods suffering under 
the blast of the storm, groping like the blind for the wall, a bright 
light suddenly shone around us, and revealed to us our dan- 
gerous situation on the edge of a gulf. The light continued with 
us until we found the road; we then went on our way rejoic- 
ing, though the darkness returned and the rain continued. We 
reached Brother Henry Thomas' in safety about nine o'clock at 
night, having been five hours in the storm, and forded streams 
many times. None of us felt to complain, but were thankful to 


God for His preserving care. On the following day I preached 
at Damon Creek, and organized a branch called Damon Creek 
Branch, and ordained Daniel Thomas a teacher. 

"On the 19th of December I again preached at the house 
of Brother Clapp, and baptized five persons ; one was a Campbell- 
ite preacher. On the following day I preached at the house of 
Brother Henry Thomas, when a mob of about fifty persons col- 
lected, headed by a Baptist preacher, who, after asking one ques- 
tion, advised the mob not to lay hands on any man on account of 
his principles. The advice was good and well taken. At the 
close of the meeting I baptized three persons, one seventy-eight 
years old. 

"This brings the year 1835 to a close — the first year of my 
mission — during which time I had traveled three thousand two 
hundred and forty-eight miles, held one hundred and seventy meet- 
ings, baptized forty-three persons — three of whom were Campbell- 
ite preachers — assisted Elder Parrish to baptize twenty more, con- 
firmed thirty-five, organized three branches, ordained two teach- 
ers and one deacon, procured thirty subscribers for the Mes- 
senger and Advocate, one hundred and seventy-three signers to 
the petition to the governor of Missouri for redress of wrongs 
done the Saints in Jackson County, had three mobs rise against 
me — but was not harmed — wrote eighteen letters, received ten, 
and, finally, closed the labors of the year 1835 by eating johnny 
cake, butter and honey, at Brother A. O. Smoot's. 

" I spent the fore part of January, 1836, (the weather being 
very cold), at the house of A. O. Smoot, in Kentucky, studying 
Kirkham's English Grammar. I continued to travel and preach 
in Kentucky and Tennessee and baptized all that would believe 
my testimony. On the 26th of February we held a conference at 
the house of Brother Lewis Clapp (father of B. L. Clapp). There 
were represented one hundred and three members in that mis- 
sion. I ordained A. O. Smoot and Benjamin Boyston elders, 
and Daniel Thomas and Benjamin L. Clapp priests. I also 
ordained one teacher and two deacons. 

"After conference I took Brothers Smoot and Clapp with me 
to preach. The former traveled with me constantly till the 21st 
of April, when we had the privilege of meeting with Elder 
David W. Patten, who had come direct from Kirtland, and who 


had been ordained one of the Twelve Apostles. It was a happy 
meeting. He gave us an account of the endowments at Kirt- 
land, the glorious blessings received, the ministration of angels, 
the organization of the Twelve Apostles and seventies, and- in- 
formed me that I, was appointed a member of the second quorum 
of seventy. All this was glorious news to me, and caused my 
heart to rejoice. On the 27th of May were were joined by Elder 
Warren Parrish, direct from Kirtland, We had a happy time to- 

"On the 28th, we held a conference at Brother Seth Utley's, 
where were represented all the branches of the Church in the South. 
On the 31st of May I was ordained a member of the second 
quorum of seventy, under the hands of David W. Patten and 
Warren Parrish. At the close of the conference we separated 
for a short time. Elders Patten and Parrish labored in Tennes- 
see, Brother Smoot and myself in Kentucky. On the 9th of 
June we all met at Damon Creek Branch, where Brother Patten 
baptized two. One was Father Henry Thomas, who had been 
a revolutionary war soldier under General Washington, and 
was father of Daniel and Henry Thomas. 

"A warrant was issued, on the oath of a priest, against D. 
W. Patten, W. Parrish and myself. We were accused in the 
warrant of the great 'crime' of testifying that Christ would come 
in this generation, and that we promised the Holy Ghost to those 
whom we baptized. Brothers Patten and Parrish were taken 
on the 19th of June. I, being in another county, escaped arrest. 
The brethren were put under two thousand dollars bonds to ap- 
pear at court. Albert Petty and Seth Utley were their bondsmen. 
They were tried on the 22nd of June. They pleaded their own 
cause. Although men came forward and testified that they did 
receive the Holy Ghost after they were baptized, the brethren 
were condemned ; but finally were released by paying the expenses 
of the mob court. 

"One peculiar circumstance was connected with this trial 
by a mob court, which was armed to the teeth. When the trial 
was through, the people were not willing to permit more than one 
to speak. Warren Parrish had said a few words, and they were 
not willing to let David Patten say anything; but he, feeling 
the inju:tice of the court, and ber-g filled with tLs ^o— r of 


God, arose to his feet and delivered a speech of about twenty 
minutes, holding them spell-bound while he told them of their 
wickedness and of the abominations they were guilty of, also of 
the curse of God that awaited them, if they did not repent, and for 
taking up two harmless, inoffensive men for preaching the gos- 
pel of Christ. When he had got through his speech the judge 
said, 'You must be armed with secret weapons, or you would 
not talk in this fearless manner to an armed court/ Brother 
Patten replied, 'I have weapons that you know not of, and they 
are given me of God, for He gives me all the power I have/ 
The judge seemed willing to get rid of them upon almost any 
terms, and offered to dismiss them if their friends would pay 
the costs, which the brethren present freely offered to do. 

"When the two were released, they mounted their horses and 
rode a mile to Seth Utley's; but as soon as they had left, the 
court became ashamed that they had been let go so easily, and 
the whole mob mounted their horses to follow them to Utley's. 
One of the Saints, seeing the state of affairs, went on before 
the mob to notify the brethren, so that they had time to ride into 
the woods near by. They traveled along about three miles to 
Brother Albert Petty's, and went to bed. The night was dark, 
and they fell asleep, but Brother Patten was warned in a dream 
to get up and flee, as the mob soon would be there. They both 
arose, saddled their animals, and rode into the adjoining county. 
The house they had just left was soon surrounded by the mob, 
but the brethren escaped through the mercy of God. 

"I was invited to hold a meeting at a Baptist meetinghouse ; 
this was on the 27th of June. On my arrival I met a large con- 
gregation, but, on commencing services, Parson Browning ordered 
the meeting to be closed. I told the people I had come ten miles 
to preach the gospel to them, and was willing to stand in a cart, 
on a pile of wood, on a fence, or any other place they would ap- 
point, to have that privilege. One man said he owned the fence 
and land in front of the meetinghouse, and we might use both, 
for he did not believe Mormonism would hurt either. So the 
congregation crossed the road, took down the fence and made 
seats of it, and I preached to them one hour and a half. At the 
close, Mr. Randoph Alexander bore testimony to the truth of 
what had been said. He invited me home with him, bought * 


a Book of Mormon and was baptized, and I organized a branch 
in that place. 

"On the 18th of July, Brother A. O. Smoot and I arrived 
at a ferry on the Tennessee River, and, as the ferryman was not 
at home, the woman kindly gave us permission to use the ferry- 
boat. We led our horses on board, and took the oars to row 
across the river. Brother Smoot never had used an oar, and I 
had not done so for some years, so we made awkward work of it. 
Soon he broke one oar, and I let another fall overboard, which 
left us only one broken oar to get to shore with. We narrowly 
escaped running into a steamboat. We struck shore half a mile 
below the landing place, tied up the boat, jumped on the bank 
with our horses, and went on our way with blistered hands, 
thankful to get off so well. 

"On Sunday, the 31st of July, A. O. Smoot and I preached 
at Mr. David Crider's, Weakley County, Tennessee. After the 
meeting, Mr. Crider was baptized. A mob gathered and threat- 
ened us, and poisoned our horses, so that the one I rode, belong- 
ing to Samuel West, died a few days after. This horse had 
carried me thousands of miles while preaching the gospel. 

"I continued to travel with Brothers Smoot, Patten, and 
Parrish in Tennessee and Kentucky, and we baptized all who 
would receive our testimony. On the 2nd day of December we 
held a general conference at Damon Creek Branch. Elder 
Thomas B. Marsh, President of the Twelve Apostles, presided. 
All the branches in Tennessee and Kentucky were represented. 
Brothers Randolph Alexander, Benjamin L. Clapp, and Johnson 
F. Lane were ordained elders, and Lindsay Bradey was ordained 
to the lesser priesthood. I assisted President Marsh to obtain 
fifteen hundred dollars from the Southern brethren to enter 
land in Missouri for the Church. The brethren made me a present 
of fifty dollars, which I sent by President Marsh to enter forty 
acres of land for me. Elder Smoot and I were released from 
the Southern mission, with permission to go to Kirtland. ,, 

During his mission, Wilford Woodruff organized a company 
of Saints, and went with them a short distance, starting them 
on the way to Zion — a portion of the work of gathering in which 
he did so much subsequently, both in the United States and Great 
Britain. Most of his travels for over two years had been on 


foot. Since leaving Richland, New York, he had journeyed over 
six thousand miles. Under his administration the sick were 
healed, mobacrats were destroyed by the power of God, light 
from heaven had been sent in the darkness of the night to lead 
him from a lost condition in the forest and to save him from 
being dashed to pieces over a rocky percipice, other miracles 
were wrought, and Wilford Woodruff, in his early youth and 
manhood, had become in a marked degree a choice witness for 
God and for the divine mission of Joseph Smith, the Prophet. 

Let it be remembered, too, that to enjoy all this power it 
was not necessary to be an apostle, a patriarch, a high priest, 
or a seventy. For the greater part bf his mission, Wilford 
Woodruff was only a priest after the order of Aaron. Like John 
the Baptist, he magnified his calling; his soul was in the work; 
he loved his fellowbeings, and yearned for their salvation. His 
whole experience is a striking lesson worthy of being learned, 
and an example to be followed profitably by all the young men 
and elders of Israel. More than once, thousands of the Saints 
have heard Wilford Woodruff .say in assemblies of worship that 
in all his life he never had enjoyed more of the spirit and power 
of God than when he was a priest doing missionary work in 
the Southern States. 

His first mission being completed, he approached the city of 
the Saints — Kirtland — whence he had departed over two years 
previously. "The Temple of the Lord," says he, "came in sight 
— first in importance to our vision. I truly rejoiced when the 
House of the Lord rose into view as we drew near to this Stake 
of Zion. It was the first time I had seen the Temple of God — 
the first Temple built in this generation. After my long absence, 
I rejoiced greatly to strike hands with the Prophet Joseph, and 
with many others engaged in rolling on the mighty work of the 
Lord in the last days. 

"Two years and a half had elapsed/' he writes further, 
"since I left Kirtland with my brethren in poverty to go up to 
visit our brethren in tribulation in Zion. The Saints at Kirt- 
land were then poor, despised, and looked upon by the pomp 
of Babylon with disdain, and people watched with eager eyes to 
behold them sink into forgetfulness. But what a change has 
come ! ' Now I behold a cheerfulness beaming from every coun- 


tenance, and the scenes around indicate prosperity. The noise 
of the ax and the hammer, the stir of their bank and market, 
and especially the presence of the House of God, speak in lan- 
guage loud as thunder that the Saints will have a city in spite 
of all the false prophets of Baal, and in spite of even earth 
and hell combined, because God is with them, and His Temple 
stands in honor of His Kingdom, while Babylon begins to wonder 
and soon will perish." 



Wilford's First Attendance at Meeting in the Temple. — Called to 
Speak. — Church's Attitude Toward the Use of Liquor. — Wilford in 
the First Quorum of Seventy. — Receives Temple Endowments. — 
Troubles in Kirtland. — Greatness of the Prophet Joseph. — Wil- 
ford's Marriage. — Receives a Patriarchal Blessing. 

The missionary experiences of Wilford Woodruff in the 
Southern States gave to him a firmness and a comprehension 
that came from the testimony of the spirit of God. From the day 
he joined the Church, he was in active service. He was not 
among those who required special training and who needed the 
constant guidance of the leaders to keep them within the bounds 
of the Church. His first experience was in Zion's Camp. He re- 
mained a short time in Missouri and then set out upon his mis- 
sion. His life was therefore governed by the workings of the 
spirit within him. That spirit was his guide — the rock upon which 
his faith and understanding were established. His return, there- 
fore, to Kirtland did not subject him to the temptations of evil, 
nor to the rebukes of the Prophet. He knew that he was about 
his Father's business and was not swerved by the sophistries of 
men, or the speculative spirit of those times. 

When he entered the city, he beheld, to his great joy, the 
Temple of the Lord. It contained for him grand opportunities. 
Its ordinances which he so fervently revered gave comfort ancl 
consolation to his life. On Sunday the 27th, 1836, he attended 
his first public meeting in the Temple. He had visited the building 
previously and viewed with pleasure its sacred apartments. On 
the forenoon of that day in company with Elders Warren Par- 
rish and A. O. Smoot, he listened with pleasure to the words of 
Elder S. Carter, and to an impressive discourse from the Prophet 

In the afternoon of the same day, Elders Woodruff and A. O. 
Smoot were invited to address the congregation. Elder Woodruff 
first opened by prayer and then turned at random to a page in 
the Bible. To his surprise, he opened to the 56th chapter of 
Isaiah, the same chapter he had turned to on the night of his 

IN KIRTLAND, 1836. 65 

eventful prayer in Connecticut. Here the memories of that night 
flashed upon his mind, and he told the incidents thereof with im- 
pressive force and inspiration upon the congregation. The peo- 
ple were greatly interested. Those who knew the voice of the good 
shepherd recognized in him a man truly born of the spirit of 
God, a fit companion of prophets and apostles. 

On the 1st of December, 1836, he attended for the first time 
in his life a meeting called for the purpose of giving certain 
persons their patriarchal blessings. Father Joseph Smith was 
the patriarch of the Church in those days. This new experience 
brought to him new evidences that the God of the Bible, the God 
of the patriarchs of old, — Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, — was truly 
the God of the new dispensation whose spirit and purposes were 
kindred to those in ancient times when the patriarchs of old 
blest the people. 

The spiritual manifestations of those times in Kirtland 
brought with them heartfelt desires to observe every rule of 
correct living. That spirit was not at all in harmony with the 
use of intoxicating liquors; and whatever became an obstacle 
to the spirit of worship must be removed if the worship were to 
be enjoyed. It was important that the use of liquor should be dis- 
continued, and Elder Woodruff records in his journal that on the 
4th day of December, that year, Sidney Rigdon called for a vote 
of the people on the discontinuance of the use of liquor in the 
Church both in sickness and in health. An exception to the rule 
was made in the case of the washing of the bodies; and under 
proper regulations, wine might be used for the Sacrament. The 
vote was unanimous. 

On the 11th of December, the Prophet sharply rebuked 
the Kirtland Saints for their sins and backsliding. He warned 
them to repent, lest judgment should come upon them as it had 
come upon the Saints in Jackson County, Missouri. Those were 
trying times. They were days of separation when it became nec- 
essary to separate the unworthy from those who were of the 
household of faith. Kirtland was not to be the abiding place 
of the Saints. They must give up their possessions and their 
love for the city they had striven so hard to adorn. Many had 
placed themselves in opposition to a divine purpose whose wis- 
dom they could not comprehend. That opposition invited the 


presence of the evil one, who both tempted and beguiled them. 
Wilford Woodruff, however, was among those who could say 
then, as he ever after kept himself in a condition to say, "Thy will, 
not mine be done." 

Before the close of 1836, there came to Elder Woodruff one 
of those choice blessings which he esteemed so highly. He was 
advanced in the priesthood to a place in the first quorum of 
seventies. His faithful friend and missionary companion, A. O. 
Smoot, was likewise ordained to the office of a seventy. This 
ordination of his friend was in fulfillment of a prophesy which he 
had pronounced upon the head of Elder Smoot on the 30th day of 
June, that year, while they were together in Tennessee. The call 
of Wilford Woodruff to take his place in the first quorum of 
seventy took place on the 3rd day of January, 1837, though he 
had been ordained to his new calling in the priesthood on the 
20th of the preceeding December. His love for missionary ser- 
vice made this calling one of special honor to him. To be a wit- 
ness for Jesus Christ to the nations was his soul's delight. The 
manner in which he honored that calling is known to all who 
are at all familiar with the early history of the Church. 

The early part of April, 1837, Wilford Woodruff devoted 
himself to the meetings which were held in the Temple during 
those days. Those who were absent from Kirtland in the spring 
of 1836, and had not therefore the privilege of receiving their 
endowments at that time were granted the opportunity to do so in 
the following spring. This was another blessing that he re- 
ceived with feelings of gratitude and praise to his Maker. The 
influence of the Temple ordinances is, perhaps, the most potent 
of any influence in the Church in the establishment of union, in 
the perpetuity of brotherly love, and in the preservation of a God- 
like purity. It is not too much to say that one, upon whom the 
spirit of these ordinances has fastened itself, never escapes in his 
conscience the sacred obligations they impose upon him. 

Referring to the administration of the Temple ordinances 
on that occasion, he writes in his journal : "The Prophet Joseph 
arose and addressed the congregation for the space of three hours. 
He was clothed with the power, spirit, and image of God. He 
presented many things of great importance to the elders of Israel. 
O, that the record could be written as with an iron pen, of the 

IN KIRTLAND, 1836. 67 

light, principles, and virtue that came from the mouth and heart 
of the Prophet Joseph, whose soul, like that of Enoch, seemed 
as wide as eternity! That day strikingly demonstrated that he 
was, indeed, a prophet of God raised up for the deliverance of 
Israel. ' s He presented to us a plan of the city of Kirtland which 
was given him by vision. The future will prove that the visions 
of Joseph concerning Jackson County and concerning the various 
stakes of Zion will be fulfilled in the time appointed of the Lord. 
After his remarks, the Sacrament was administered and all were 
made glad at the table of the Lord in association with apostles, 
prophets, patriarchs, evangelists, and teachers. In the evening a 
meeting was held in which many took part by speaking in tongues, 
giving the interpretations thereof, prophesying, etc., — a veritable 
feast of Pentecost." 

Temple work in Kirtland in the early part of 1837 afforded 
him that spiritual satisfaction which was so helpful in those sub- 
sequent years of his life when he was employed in missionary 
service and upon the plains as a pioneer. He also learned during 
those days in Kirtland that the more remarkable the spiritual 
manifestations, the greater the opposition of the evil one. He 
was present at the Sunday services in the Temple, April 9th, when 
Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, and Sidney Rigdon laid before 
the Saints the condition of the Church respecting temporal af- 

A financial panic was on throughout the United States. Its 
depressing influence was severely felt in Kirtland. Before it 
reached that place, however, many of the leading brethren had 
given their time and talent to speculation and were absorbed in 
schemes detrimental to their religious standing, and quite con- 
trary to the counsel of the Prophet. Speculations brought on 
jealousies and hatreds, and those evil attributes manifested them- 
selves toward Joseph who sought so diligently to suppress them. 
Prominent men — men who had shown the highest degree of loy- 
alty to the Prophet became disaffected. Their financial specu- 
lations brought on a spirit of self-sufficiency, and that spirit made 
them wise in their own conceit. The affairs of the Church were 
put to the test of "wisdom"— wisdom as they understood it. Such 
wisdom, however, was undermining their integrity to the Church. 
The meek and humble maintained their fidelity and brought en- 


couragement and solace to the Prophet, and the noble men who 
stood with him in the hours of financial distress. 

On one occasion he met Wilford Woodruff, and after scruti- 
nizing him very closely as though he were reading his inmost 
thoughts, said : "Brother Woodruff, I am glad to see you. I 
hardly know when I meet those who have been my brethren in the 
Lord, who of them are my friends. They have become so scarce." 
Elder Woodruff felt throughout all the subsequent years of his 
life a supreme satisfaction over the loyalty he had manifested 
in those trying times to the Prophet of God. Elder Woodruff 
was so faithful in the discharge of his duties, so humble in his 
demeanor, so sincere and devoted that he was rewarded by a dis- 
cerning spirit which kept him in the path of safety when some of 
his brethren were struggling in the meshes of misgivings and 

The correctness of Wilford Woodruff's attitude in those days 
was manifested in his ability to see in the Prophet the same 
spiritual power that had been manifested to him on former oc- 
casions. Of a meeting held on April 19th, when the Prophet 
spoke, he writes: "He seemed a fountain of knowledge from 
whose mouth streams of eternal wisdom flowed. As he stood be- 
fore the people, he showed clearly that the authority of God was 
upon him. When speaking of those who professed to be his 
friends and the friends of humanity, but who had turned against 
the people and opposed the prosperity of Kirtland, he declared 
the Lord would deal severely with them. Joseph uttered the 
feelings of his soul in pain, while reviewing the poverty and 
afflictions of his people, and while finding false brethren whose 
course brought peril upon the Saints. Joseph is a father to 
Ephraim and to all Israel in these last days; and he mourned 
because of unbelief and treachery among many who had em- 
braced the gospel. He feared lest few in Kirtland should remain 
worthy to receive an inheritance." 

"There is not so great a man as Joseph standing in this 
generation," he wrote later on. "The Gentiles look upon him, and 
he is like a bed of gold concealed from human view. They 
know not his principle, his spirit, his wisdom, his virtue, his 
philanthrophy, of his calling. His mind, like Enoch's, expands 
as eternity, and God alone can comprehend his soul." 

Misfortune and affliction so often unsettle men's minds and 

KIRTLAND, 1836. 69 

move them from their moorings that they are prone to doubt 
the goodness of God and His protecting care over them. The high- 
est type of saintly life and divine loyalty among men, alike in 
affliction and prosperity, was Job. Job was one of those beautiful 
characters in Old Testament history that appealed strongly to the 
mind and heart of Wilford Woodruff. His reference to Job 
in public discourses shows how deeply that worthy character of 
Holy Writ had influenced his life. 

At the time herein mentioned, Wilford had reached his 30th 
year. He now felt that it was his duty to assume the respon- 
sibility of husband and father. He was, no doubt, strongly act- 
uated in this feeling by an inspiration which the new-found mes 
sage brought to his soul. On the 13th day of April, 1837, he re- 
ceived in wedlock Miss Phoebe Whitmore Carter, an estimable 
young lady from the state of Maine. She was the daughter of 
Ezra Carter of Scarboro. With other members of her father's 
household, she had been baptized some time previously by Elder 
John F. Boynton. Like her husband, she belonged to that sturdy 
New England race that gave strength and force to the new move- 
ment. They had been acquainted only about two months when 
they joined hands in holy wedlock. The ceremony was per- 
formed by President Frederick G. Williams. The Prophet Joseph 
had intended to marry them, but owing to severe persecution, he 
was compelled to be absent from home. 

She had already received her patriarchal blessing from Fath- 
er Joseph Smith on November 10, 1836. It contained many glorious 
promises which, so far as they related to this life, have been 
fulfilled. Some were fulfilled in a remarkable manner. 

On the 15th of April, two days subsequent to their mar- 
riage, Elder Woodruff likewise received his patriarchal bless- 
ing. These blessings gave hope and courage to the new life 
which they were hereafter to experience together^ Such a blessing 
brought joys and assurances greatly in excess of those which came 
from wedding tours. They therefore Began life together in faith 
and in perfect reliance upon the goodness of God. Elder Wood- 
ruff's blessing contained the promise that he should bring all of 
his relatives into the Church. The fulfillment of that promise 
was realized in a remarkable manner, and was one of those 
evidences which gave him support and comfort throughout all the 
subsequent years of life. 



Troubles at Kirtland. — Mission to Fox Islands. — Evil Spirits Cast Out. 
— Healing the Sick. — Visits his Home Enroute. — From Connec- 
ticut to Maine. — Description of Fox Islands. — Begins Ministry in 
Vinal Haven. — A Minister Comes to Grief. — Baptisms. — Excite- 
ment. — Return to Scarboro. 

The condition of affairs in Kirtland during the winter of 
1836-7 was not at all to the liking of Elder Woodruff. To his 
mind there was no place in the Church for contentions, misgiv- 
ings, and opposition. The work was of God — that was enough. 
There were the properly appointed authorities. Upon them the re- 
sponsibilities of the kingdom had been placed. He was not there- 
fore concerned about what others thought was a lack of wisdom 
in them. He was not avaricious; and financial reverses, to his 
mind, could never thwart the purposes of God; and he was not 
troubled about how much of this world's goods came to his pos- 
session. A glorious message had been given to the earth, and he 
wanted every one to know its value to the human family and to 
understand the blessings of salvation to those who yielded obedi- 

Wilford Woodruff always felt out of place in the midst of con- 
tention. He shunned it, and never cared for the association of 
those who were given to fault-finding, criticisms, and personal 
griefs. He never saw the necessity for them. It was never hard 
for him to agree with his brethren. He was never unreasonable 
it; his demands, never had private ends to foster, and never hesi- 
tated when there was something important to be done. He was 
loyal to the Prophet, true to his brethren ; and as he was now a 
seventy, he wanted to magnify his office by service in the mission- 
ary field. 

He felt impressed that he wanted to take a mission to Fox 
Islands, off the coast of Maine, although he was not at all fam- 
iliar with the locality nor with the conditions there. To his 
impressions of the spirit of God, he found a hearty response 
in the minds of the apostles. 

"Feeling," he said, "that it was my duty to start at once upon 


this mission, I did not tarry at home one year after having taken 
a wife as the law of Moses allowed. On the contrary, I started 
just one month and one day after that important event. I left 
my wife with a Sister Hale with whom she expected to stay for 
a season. I left Kirtland in good spirits, in company with Elder 
Jonathan Hale, and walked twelve miles to Fairport, where we 
were joined by Elder Milton Holmes. There we went aboard the 
steamer Sandusky, made our way to Buffalo, and proceeded 
thence to Syracuse by way of the Erie Canal. We then walked 
to Richland, Oswego County, New York, where I met my two 
brothers whom I had not seen for several years." The elder 
of these brothers had become, through trial and Jemptation, 
indifferent to the Church. This was a source of deep sorrow 
to Wilford, who warned him against opposing the truth, and 
faithfully instructed him in his duty to the gospel which he had 

From Richland they proceeded to Sackett's Harbor, thence 
across Lake Ontario by steamer, Oneida, to Kingston, Upper 
Canada, and along the canal to Jones' Falls, whence they walked 
to a place called Bastard, Leeds County. There they found a 
branch of the Church presided over by John E. Page and James 
Blakesly. "We accompanied them to their place of meeting," 
said Elder Woodruff, "and attended a conference, at which three 
hundred members of the Church were present. Thirty-two 
persons presented themselves for ordination. I was asked to 
officiate in company with Elder William Draper. We ordained 
seven elders, nine priests, eleven teachers, and five deacons. 

"We addressed the people several times during this confer- 
ence, and at its close were called to administer to a woman who 
was possessed of a devil. At times she was dumb and greatly afflict- 
ed with the evil spirits that dwelt in her. She believed in Jesus, 
and in us as His servants, and wished us to administer to her. 
Four of us laid our hands upon her head, and in the name of 
Jesus Christ commanded the devil to depart from her. The evil 
spirits left immediately, and the woman arose with great joy 
and gave thanks and praise unto God ; for, according to her faith, 
she was made whole from that hour. A child that was sick was 
also healed by the laying on of hands, according to the word of 


"We walked thirty miles to visit another branch of the 
Saints at Leeds, where we met with John Gordon and a John 
Snider. There we held a meeting, and bore testimony to the 
people. A Sister Cams came to us and asked that the ordinance 
for the healing of the sick be performed for two of her children 
who were afflicted. One was a nursing babe which was lying at 
the point of death. I took it in my arms and presented it before 
the elders, who laid their hands upon it, and it was made whole 
immediately. I handed it back to the mother entirely healed. We 
afterwards laid hands upon the other, and it was also healed. 
It was done by the power of God, in the name of Jesus Christ, 
and the parents praised God for His goodness. " 

From Leeds they went to Schenectady, New York. On this 
journey they were accompanied by Elders Isaac Russell, John 
Goodson, and John Snider. In New York they expected to join 
Apostles Heber C. Kimball and Orson Hyde who were soon to 
leave on a mission to England. Elder Russell seemed to be troubled 
constantly by evil spirits. They were also troublesome to him while 
in England, where Apostles Hj'de and Kimball had a severe con- 
test with them, when administering to him. 

After separating from the three brethren named, Elder 
Woodruff and his companions went by rail to Albany, and walked 
from there to Canaan, Connecticut, where they found a branch 
of the Church. Here they met Jesse and Julian Moses and Fran- 
cis K. Benedict. They held a two day's meeting at Canaan, and 
Elder Woodruff ordained Julian Moses and Francis K. Benedict 
to the office of an elder. 

At Colebrook, Elder Woodruff visited his half-sister, Eunice 
Woodruff, who taught school there. "I spent five hours," he 
wrote, "watching her in the performance of her school duties. 
Five years before, when I last beheld Eunice at our father's 
house, she was a child of only twelve years ; but now I beheld her 
an instructor of the youth. As I looked upon her, my heart was 
filled with admiration for those accomplishments in her which 
adorn the female sex. Her spirit was blithe, and her step, as she 
moved among her pupils, showed the energy of youth. She hand- 
ed me a bundle of letters from her brother Asahel. The teachings 
and instructions contained in those letters, if followed by the 
youth, would lead them past a thousand snares. As I read, I 


smiled and wept, and prayed in my heart, 'O God, protect my 
brothers, my sisters, my wife, and my parents/ " Wilford's 
affection for his iamily and relatives was strong and beauti- 

From Colebrook he proceeded to Avon. "There I visited," 
he wrote, "many of my former neighbors, and my relatives, also 
the grave of my mother, Beulah Woodruff, who died June 11th, 
1808, when she was twenty-six years of age. The following verse 
was upon her tombstone: 

. 'A pleasing form, a generous heart, 
A good companion, just without art; 
Just in her dealings, faithful to her friend, 
Beloved through life, lamented in the end/ 

"At the close of the day I walked six miles to Farming- 
ton, where my father, Aphek Woodruff, was living, and I had the 
happy privilege of once more meeting him and my stepmother, 
whom I had not seen for seven years. They greeted me with 
great kindness. It was a happy meeting. After visiting with my 
father for a day or two, I returned to Avon, where most of my 
relatives lived, and held meetings with them. On the 12th of 
June, 1837, I baptized my uncle, Ozem Woodruff, his wife, Han- 
nah, and their son, John, and we rejoiced together; for this was 
in fulfillment of a dream I had in 1818, when I was eleven years 
of age. 

"On the 15th of July I had an appointment to preach at the 
house of my uncle, Adna Hart. While there I had the happy 
privilege of meeting with my wife Phoebe W. Woodruff, who 
had come from Kirtland to meet me and accompany me to her 
father's home in Scarboro, Maine. Those who had assembled 
to hear me preach were relatives, neighbors, and former friends. 
After meeting, we returned to Farmington, to my father's home, 
where I spent the night with my father, stepmother, sister, and 
wife. Elder Hale was also with us. 

"On the 19th of July, Elder Hale left us to go to his friends 
in New Rowley, Massachusetts. The same evening I held a 
meeting in the Methodist meetinghouse in the town of Farm- 
ington. I had a large congregation of citizens with whom I 


had been acquainted from my youth. My parents, wife, and 
sister attended the meeting. The congregation seemed satisfied 
with the doctrines I taught, and requested me to hold another 
meeting; but I felt anxious to continue my journey, and on the 
20th of July I parted from father, stepmother, and sister, and, 
with my wife, took stage for Hartford. 

"On my arrival there, not having money to pay fare for 
both of us, I paid my wife's fare to Rowley, Massachusttes, 
where there was a branch of the Church presided over by Brother 
Nathaniel Holmes, father of Jonathan and Milton Holmes. I 
journeyed on foot. The first day I walked fifty-two -miles, the 
second day forty-eight, and the third day thirty-six miles, arriv- 
ing at Rowley at 2 o'clock, having made the one hundred and 
thirty-six miles in a little over two and a half days. On the 
second day, when within a mile or two of my stopping place, 
I felt so weary and worn-out that every step was made with pain- 
ful effort. Just then a gentleman came dashing along in his 
carriage. As he came up I prayed to the Lord that he would 
invite me to ride. Instead of doing this, he went by with great 
speed until about ten rods ahead, when his horse, without being 
spoken to, or reined up, and for some cause unknown to the 
driver, came to a sudden stop. It appeared as if a barrier, un- 
seen by others, stood in his way. Instantly the gentleman turned 
and asked me to ride. The invitation I accepted gladly, and we 
sped on our way. 

"I spent eight days at New Rowley, holding meeting and 
visiting with the Saints, including the Holmes family, and left 
there on the 1st of August. On the 8th of August, in company 
with my wife and Elder Hale, I visited my wife's father, Ezra 
Carter, and his family in Scarboro, Maine, it being the first time 
I had ever seen any of her relatives. 

We were received very kindly. My wife had been absent from 
her father's home about one year. I remained eight days with 
Father Carter, and household, and one day I went out to sea with 
Fabian and Ezra Carter, my brothers-in-law, in a boat to fish with 
hooks. We caught two hundred and fifty cod, haddock, and hake, 
and we saw four whales, two at a time. It was the first time I 
had ever seen the kind of animal which is said to have swallowed 


"On the 18th of August, 1837, I parted with my wife and 
her father's household, leaving her with them, and, in company 
with Jonathan H. Hale, started upon the mission that I had in 
view when I left Kirtland. We walked ten miles to Portland, 
and took passage on the steamboat, Bangor, which carried us to 
Owl's Head where we went on board a sloop which landed us 
on North Fox Island at 2 o'clock a. m. on August 20th. 

"The town of Vinal Haven includes both North and South 
Fox Islands, in latitude 44° north longitude 69° 10' west. The 
population numbered, at the time of my visit, about eighteen 
hundred. The inhabitants were intelligent and industrious, and 
hospitable to strangers. They got most of their living and wealth 
by fishing. The town fitted out over one hundred licensed sail- 
ing vessels, besides smaller craft. 

"North Fox Island is nine miles long by two miles in width, 
and has a population of eight hundred. They have a postoffke, 
one store, a Baptist church and a meetinghouse, four schoolhouses, 
and a tide grist-mill. The land is rather poor, "yet there are 
some good farms. The products are wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, 
and grass. The principal timber consists of fir, spruce, hem- 
lock, and birch. Raspberries and gooseberries grow in great 
abundance, and some upland cranberries are raised. The principal 
stock are sheep. 

"South Fox Island comes as near being without definite form 
as any spot on earth I ever saw. It would be difficult for any 
person to describe it. It is about ten miles in length by five in 
width, and is a mass of rocks, formed into shelves, hills, and val- 
leys, and cut up into necks and points to make room for the 
coves and harbors that run into the island. The population is 
one thousand. The inhabitants get their living entirely by fish- 
ing. There is no chance for farming upon the island. There are 
a few garden patches which are cultivated at great expense. 
Some few sheep are raised there. Many of the inhabitants fish 
in the vicinity of Newfoundland, and bring their fish home, where 
they cure them on flakes and prepare them for the market. They 
supply the market with great quantities of cod, mackeral, and 
boxed herring. Upon this island there are two stores, three tide 
mills, six schoolhouses, and a small branch of the Methodist 
church presided over by a priest. What timber there is upon this 


island, such as pine, fir, spruce, hemlock, and birch, and likewise 
whortleberries, raspberries, and gooseberries, grow mostly out of 
the cracks in the rocks. 

"Great quantities of fish in almost endless variety inhabit the 
coves and harbors around the islands. The whale, blackfish, 
shark, ground-shark, pilot-fish, horse-mackerel, sturgeon, salmon, 
halibut, cod, polleck, tom-cod, hake, haddock, mackerel, shad-bass, 
alewife, herring, pohagen, dolphin, whiting, frost-fish, flounders, 
smelt, skate, shrimp, skid, cusk, blueback, scallop, dog-fish, 
mutton-fish, lumpfish, squid, five-fingers, monkfish, horse-fish, 
sun-fish, sword-fish, thrasher, cat-fish, scuppog, tootog, eye-fish, 
cunner, ling, also the eel, lobster, clam, mussel, periwinkle, por- 
poise, seal, etc., are found. 

"I have given a brief description of Vinal Haven. It was 
quite dark when we landed, without a farthing of money. We 
made our way over the rocks and through the cedars the best we 
could until we found a house. We rapped at the door. A woman 
put her head out of the window and asked who we were and 
what was wanted. I told her we were two strangers, and wanted 
a bed to lie down upon till morning. She let us in and gave us 
a bed. We slept until quite late, it being Sunday morning. 

"When we came out and took breakfast it was nearly noon. 
I asked her what she charged for our accomodation. She replied 
that we were welcome. I then asked her if there were any min- 
ister or church on the island. She informed us that there was a 
Baptist minister, named Newton, who had a congregation and a 
meetinghouse about five miles from there. 

"We thanked her for her kindness, walked to the meeting- 
house, and stepped inside the doorway. We stood there until a 
deacon came to the door. I asked him to tell the minister in the 
pulpit that there were two servants of God at the door, and that 
they had a message to give to the people and wished the priv- 
ilege of delivering it. He sent for us to come to the pulpit, so we 
walked through the congregation with our valises and took a seat 
by the side of the minister, who was about to speak as we came 
to the door. He arose and delivered his discourse to the people, 
occupying about half an hour. When he closed he asked me what 
my wish was. I told him we wished to speak to the people at any 
hour that would suit his or their convenience; so he gave notice 


that there were two strangers present who would speak to the 
people at 5 o'clock that evening. 

"We were quite a source of wonderment to the people, as they 
had no idea who we were. Mr. Newton asked us home to tea 
with him, and we gladly accepted the invitation. When we ar- 
rived at his house, I opened my valise and took out the Bible, 
Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, laid them upon the 
table, and took my seat. Mr. Newton took up the books and 
looked at them, but said nothing. I then inquired if there were 
any schoolhouses upon the island, and if so, whether they were 
free to preach in. He answered that there were four, numbered 
respectively from one to four, and that they were free. Mr. New- 
ton and family accompanied us to the meeting-house, where we 
met a large congregation, none of whom knew who we were or 
anything about our profession, except the minister. 

Elder Hale and I went to the stand, and 1 arose with pe- 
culiar feelings and addressed the congregation for one hour, tak- 
ing for my text Galatians 1 : 8, 9. This was the first time that I, 
or any other elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day 
Saints, had (to my knowledge) atempted to preach the fulness of 
the gospel and the Book of Mormon to the inhaibtants of any 
island of the sea. I had much liberty in speaking, and informed the 
people that the Lord had raised up a prophet and organized His 
Church as in the days of Christ and the ancient apostles, with 
prophets, apostles, and the gifts as anciently, and that he had 
brought forth the Book of Mormon. At the close of my remarks 
Elder Hale bore testimony. I gave liberty for any one to speak 
who might wish to do so. As no one responded, I announced that 
we would hold meetings the next four evenings at the. school- 
houses, beginning at No. 1. 

"During the first thirteen days of our sojourn upon the island, 
we preached seventeen discourses, being invited by the people to 
tarry with them. I left a copy of the Doctrine and Covenants 
with Mr. Newton for his perusal. He read it, and the spirit of 
God bore testimony to him of its truth. He pondered over it 
for days, and walked his room until midnight trying to decide 
whether to receive or reject it. He and his family attended about 
a dozen of my first meetings, and then he made up his mind, con- 
trary to the dictation of the spirit of God to him, to reject the 


testimony and come out against me. However, we commenced 
baptizing his flock. The first two we baptized were a sea-cap- 
tain, by the name of Justin Eames, and his wife. Brother Jona- 
than H. Hale went down into the sea on the 3rd of September, 
and baptized them; these were the first baptisms performed by 
proper authority upon any of the islands of the sea (to my knowl- 
edge) in this dispensation. 

"Before we left Kirtland some of the leading apostates there 
had tried to discourage Brother Hale about going on his mission, 
telling him he never would baptize anyone, and had better remain 
at home. When Captain Eames offered himself for baptism, I 
asked Brother Hale to baptize him, and prove those men to be 
false prophets, which he did. On the following Sabbath I bap- 
tized Justin Eames' brother, Ebenezer Eames, another sea-captain, 
and a young lady. 

"Mr Newton, the Baptist minister, now commenced a war 
against us, and sent to the South Island for a Mr. Douglass, a 
Methodist minister, with whom he had been at variance for years, 
to come over and help him put down 'Mormonism.' Mr. 'Douglass 
came over and they got together as many people as they could, and 
held a conference. He railed against Joseph, the Prophet, and 
the Book of Mormon, and taking that book in his hand, with out- 
stretched arm, declared that he feared none of the judgments of 
God that would come uponJiim for rejecting it as the word of 
God. (I never heard what his sentiments upon this subject were 
at the end of his term of fourteen years' imprisonment in the 
Thomaston penitentiary, for an outrage upon his daughter. The 
judgment was given upon the testimony of his wife and daught- 

"I was present and heard Mr. Douglass' speech upon this 
occasion, and took minutes of it. When he closed I arose and in- 
formed the people that I would meet them the next Sunday in the 
meeting-house and answer Mr. Douglass; and I wished him, as 
well as the people, to be present. I informed the people that Mr. 
Douglass had made many false statements against Joseph Smith 
and the Latter-day Saints, with whom he had no acquaintance; 
and he had misquoted much Scripture, all of which I would cor- 

"We continued to baptize the people on North Island until 


we baptized every person who owned an interest in the Baptist 
meeting-house. I then followed Mr. Douglas home to South 
Island, and preached the gospel to the members of his church, 
and baptized nearly all of them. 

"The excitement became great on both islands, and on Sun- 
day, the 17th of September, I met a large assembly from both 
islands, and took up the same subject that Mr. Douglass had 
dwelt upon in his remarks against the Book of Mormon and our 
principles. I spoke two and a half hours, and answered every ob- 
jection against the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, or our prin- 
ciples. I had good attention, and the people seemed satisfied. 
At the close of the meeting Elder Hale administered the ordinance 
of baptism. 

"Mr. Newton, in order to save his cause, went to the main- 
land, brought over several ministers, and held a protracted meet- 
ing. They hoped by this to stop the work of God, but all to no 
avail; for all the people would attend our meetings and receive 
the word of God, and we continued to baptize. We visited the 
homes of most of the inhabitants. 

"Upon one occasion, while standing upon Mr. Carver's farm, 
on the east end of North Island, we counted fifty-five islands in 
that region, most of which were not inhabited. We also saw 
twenty ships under sail at the same time. We did not lack for 
food while upon the island, for if we did not wish to trouble our 
friends for a dinner, we had only to borrow a spade or a hoe and 
a kettle, and go to the beach and dig a peck of clams. These, 
when boiled, make a delicious meal, of which we often -availed 

"One day Elder Hale and I ascended to the top of a high 
granite rock on South Island for prayer and supplication. We 
sat down under the shade of a pine tree which grew out of 
a fissure in the rocks, and Elder Hale read the sixteenth chapter 
of Jeremiah, where mention is made of the hunters and fishers 
that God would send in the last days to gather Israel. We were, 
indeed, upon an island of the sea, standing upon a rock where we 
could survey the gallant ships, and also the islands which were as 
full of rocks, ledges, and caves as any part of the earth. And 
what had brought us here? To search out the blood of Ephraim, 
the honest and meek of the earth, and gather them from these 


islands, rocks, holes, and caves of the earth unto Zion. We prayed, 
and rejoiced together. The spirit of God rested upon us. We 
spoke of Christ and the ancient prophets and apostles in Jeru- 
salem ; of Nephi, Alma, Mormon, Moroni, in America ; of Joseph, 
Hyrum, Oliver, and the apostles in our own day; and we re- 
joiced that we were upon the islands of the sea searching out the 
blood of Israel. While filled with these meditations and with 
the spirit of God, we fell upon our knees and gave thanks to the 
God of heaven, and felt to pray for all Israel. After spending 
most of the day in praise and thanksgiving, we descended to the 
settlement and held a meeting with the people. 

"On the 6th of September we called upon Captain Ben- 
jamin Coombs, and visited his flakes, where he had one thousand 
quintals of codfish drying for the market. They had been caught 
mostly in the neighborhood of Newfoundland. While we were 
passing Carvey's Wharf, our attention was called to a large school 
of mackerel playing by the side of the warf. Several men were 
pitching them out with hooks. We also caught what we wanted 
and went on our way. 

"We continued to labor, to preach, and to baptize. We or- 
ganized a branch of the Church upon each island. Finally, on 
the 2nd of October, we parted with the Saints on North Island 
to return to Scarboro for a short time. We walked from Thom- 
aston to Bath, a distance of forty-six miles in one day, and at the 
latter place attended a Baptist convention. I also preached there 
in the evening to a large congregation, and the people gave, good 
attention and wished to learn more about our doctrines. On the 
following day we walked thirty-six miles to Portland, and the next 
day to Scarboro. There I again met my wife and her father's 

"The, time had come for me to give the parting hand to Broth- 
er Jonathan H. Hale. During the season we traveled over two 
thousand miles together, united in heart and spirit. He felt it his 
duty to return to his family in Kirtland, but duty called me to re- 
turn to my field of labor upon the islands. On the 9th of October 
I accompanied Brother Hale one mile on his journey. We retired 
to a grove and knelt down and prayed together, and had a good 
time; after commending each other to God, we parted, he to re- 
turn to Kirtland, and I to the Fox Islands. 


"I spent fourteen days visiting the Saints and friends, and 
holding meetings among them. On the 28th of October I took 
leave of Father Carter and family, and, in company with my wife, 
rode to Portland, to the home of my brother-in-law, Ezra Carter. 
A severe storm arose, so we could not go to sea until November 
1st, when* we took steamer to Owl's Head, carriage to Thomas- 
ton, and sloop to Fox Islands." 



Again on the Fox Islands. — Opposition Increases. — Manifestation of 
the Gifts of the Holy Ghost. — Sign of the Prophet Jonas. Wilford 
Visits A. P. Rockwood in Prison. — Baptizes His Father and Other 
Relatives.— Birth of His First Child.— Called To Be One of the 
Twelve Apostles, and To Take a Foreign Mission. — Assists Fox 
Islands Saints in Migrating to the West. — Mrs. Woodruff Miracu- 
lously Healed. — They Reach Quincy, Illinois. 

The second arrival of Wilford Woodruff at the Fox Islands 
was under circumstances very different from those of the first 
landing. On the earlier visit he was an entire stranger, and knew 
not how he could obtain a meal or a night's comfortable rest; 
the people also were strangers to the gospel message which he had 
come to deliver. On the second visit, however, he knew he would 
be received with a cordial welcome; and he met many Saints 
who had accepted the gospel through his ministrations, and who 
hailed him, and his companion also, with glad hearts. On Sun- 
day, November 5, he met with a large assembly of Saints and 
friends, and again engaged in baptizing those who received his 
testimony. A few days later he went with Captain Coombs to 
another island called the Isle of Holt, where he preached to an 
attentive audience at an evening meeting, and spent the night with 
John Turner, Esq., who purchased a copy of the Book of Mormon. 

"On the following day," writes Wilford, "we returned to Fox 
Islands, and as St. Paul once had to row hard to make land in a 
storm, we had to row hard to make it in a calm. After preaching 
on North Island again, and baptizing two persons at the close 
of the meeting, I went again to the mainland, in company with 
Mrs. Woodruff and others, and there spent fifteen days, dur- 
ing which time I visited among the people, held twelve meetings, 
and baptized several persons. On the 13th of December I re- 
turned to North Island, where I held several meetings, then 
crossed over to South Island. 

"On the 20th of December I spent an hour with Mr. Isaac 
Crockett, in clearing away large blocks of ice from the water in 


a cove, in order to baptize him, which I did when the tide came in. 
I also baptized two more in the same place, on the 26th, and still 
two others on the 27th. On the 28th I held a meeting at a school- 
house, when William Douglass, the Methodist minister, came 
and wanted me to work a miracle, that he might believe. At the 
same time he railed against me. I told him what class of men 
asked for signs, and that he was a wicked and adulterous man. I 
predicted that the curse of God would rest upon him, and that his 
wickedness would be made manifest in the eyes of the people. 
( While visiting the islands several years afterward, I learned that 
the prediction had been fulfilled in his imprisonment for a four- 
teen years' term, for a beastly crime.) 

"On the last day of the year 1837, Mrs. Woodruff crossed 
the thoroughfare in a boat and walked ten miles, the length of 
the island, to meet me. I held a meeting the same day in the 
schoolhouse, and at the close of the services baptized two persons 
in the sea, at full tide, before a large assembly. 

"January 1st, 1838, found me upon one of the islands of the 
sea, a minister of the gospel of life and salvation unto the peo- 
ple, laboring alone, yet blessed with the society of Mrs. Woodruff 
as my companion. I had been declaring the word of the Lord 
through the islands many days, the spirit of God was working 
among the people, prejudice was giving way, and the power of 
God was manifest by signs following those who believed. I spent 
this New Year's day visiting the Saints and their neighbors, and 
met a congregation at the home of Captain Charles Brown, where 
I spoke to them for a while, and at the close of my remarks led 
three persons down into the sea and baptized them. Two of these 
were sea-captains ; namely, Charles Brown and Jesse Coombs, and 
the third was the wife of Captain Coombs. After confirming 
them, we spent the evening in preaching, singing, and praying. 

"I held meetings almost daily with the Saints up to the 13th, 
when I crossed to North Island. There I found that the seed 
I had sown was bringing forth fruit. Six persons were ready for 
baptism. But my mission to these islands was not an exception to 
the general rule ; success did not come without many obstacles pre- 
senting themselves. Those who rejected the word were frequently 
inspired by the evil one to make an attempt at persecution. Some 


of those who felt to oppose me went down to the harbor and got 
a swivel and small arms, planted them close by the schoolhouse, 
near the sea shore, and while I was speaking they commenced fir- 
ing their cannon and guns. I continued speaking in great plain- 
ness, but my voice was mingled with the report of musketry. I 
told the people my garments were clear of the blood of the inhab- 
itants of that island, and asked if any wished to embrace the gos- 
pel. Two persons came forward and wished to be baptized, and I 
baptized them. 

"On the following day when I went down to the seaside to 
baptize a man, the rabble commenced firing guns again, as on the 
previous night. I afterwards learned that notices were posted 
up, warning me to leave town, but I thought it was better to obey 
God than man, and, therefore, did not go. The next day I bap- 
tized three persons, and two days subsequently a couple of others. 

"I had ample evidence of the fact that lying spirits had gone 
out into the world, for three persons whom I had baptized had 
been visited by Mr. Douglass, who told them that I denied the 
Bible and could not be depended upon ; and they yielded to his in- 
sinuations until the devil took possession of them. They were in a 
disaffected condition, and sent for me. When I met them the) 
were in great affliction, but when I instructed them in the princi- 
ples of the gospel and administered to them, they were delivered 
from the evil influence and rejoiced. 

"On the 15th of February I again crossed to North Island; 
and after remaining there seven days visiting, we returned to 
Camden, where I met Brother James Townsend, who had just ar- 
rived from Scarboro. I ordained Brother Townsend to the office 
of elder. We then concluded to take a journey to Bangor and offer 
the gospel to the inhabitants of that city. 

"We traveled on foot, in the dead of winter when the snow 
was very deep, and the first day broke the road for seven miles to 
Scarsmont. The day following being Sunday, we held two meet- 
ings, preached the Gospel to the people, and were kindly enter- 
tained. On the evening of the next day we wallowed through 
snowdrifts for a mile, to meet an appointment to preach in a 
schoolhouse, and on the way I got one of my ears frozen. Not- 
. withstanding the severity of the weather, we had a large and at- 


tentive audience. We also spent the next two days there, and 
held meetings. 

"On the evening of the 21st of February, as we came out of 
the schoolhouse, a light appeared on the northeastern horizon 
and spread to the west, and soon rolled over our heads. It had 
the appearance of fire, blood, and smoke, and at times resembled 
contending armies. The heavens were illuminated for a period 
of half an hour. It seemed at times as though the veil were about 
to rend in twain, and the elements were contending with each 
other. We looked upon it as one of the signs in the heavens pre- 
dicted by the prophets of old to appear in the kst days. We 
were wading through deep snowdrifts most of the time while wit- 
nessing this remarkable scene. 

"The following day we walked fifteen miles through deep 
snow to Belfast, and, after being refused lodging for the night by 
eight families, were kindly entertained by a Mr. Thomas Tep- 
pley. There was an interesting incident connected with our stay 
at his house. After eating our supper (it being late in the eve- 
ning) , a stand was placed before me by Mr. Teppley, with a Bible 
upon it, and he asked me to read a chapter and have prayers with 
them, he being a religious man. I opened the Bible mechanically, 
and the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew being the first to catch 
my eye, I read it ; as I closed the book Mr. Teppley turned to his 
wife and said, Ts not this a strange thing ?' Then he explained 
to us that he had just read that chapter and closed the book when 
we rapped at the door, and he felt impressed to say, 'Walk in, 
gentlemen.' There is probably no other chapter in the whole book 
that would have the same influence in causing any one to feed a 
person who professed to be a servant of God and asked for bread. 

"After becoming acquainted with Mr. Teppley's circum- 
stances I thought it providential that we were led to his house, 
for although he was a professor of religion and a Methodist, he 
was in a state of despair, believing that he had committed the un- 
pardonable sin. However, I told him what the unpardonable sin 
was, and that he had not commited it, but that it was a trick of the 
devil to make him think so, in order to torment him. He then 
acknowledged that a few evenings before he went down to the 
wharf with the intention of drowning himself, but when he looked 


into the cold, dark water, he desisted and returned home, and 
said nothing about it to anyone previous to telling me. I taught him 
the principles of the gospel, which proved a comfort to hiiru 

"We spent the next day in visiting the people of Belfast, and 
in the evening preached in a brick schoolhouse, provided by Mr. 
Teppley. Many wished to hear more from us. We next visited 
Northport and Frankfort, holding meetings at both places. On 
the 1st of March, 1838, we entered Bangor, which at that time 
had a population of ten thousand. This was my birthday, I being 
thirty-one years of age. I visited some of the leading men of 
Bangor. They granted me the use of the city hall, where I 
preached to good audiences for two successive evenings. This 
was the first time a Latter-day Saint elder had preached in that 
town. Many were anxious to learn more about our principles, but 
our visits through all the towns from Thomaston to Bangor were 
necessarily brief, owing to our appointments upon the islands. It 
was like casting bread upon the waters and trusting in God for 
the result. 

"On the 5th of March we sailed from Penobscot for the Isle 
of Holt, where I held a meeting the following evening. The next 
day I took passage on the mail boat for North Fox Island, where 
I again had the privilege of meeting with the Saints for prayer 
and praise before the Lord. On my arrival I received a package 
of letters from friends. One was from Kirtland, and gave an ac- 
count of the apostasy and tribulations which the Saints were pass- 
ing through. Joseph, the Prophet, and others, with their families, 
had gone to Far West, Missouri, and the Saints were following 
him. At North Island, Brother Townsend left me and returned 
home, and I was again alone in the ministry. 

"On the afternoon of the 22nd of March, Brother Sterrett 
and I, accompanied by our wives, went several hundred yards 
from the shore to a sandbar (it being then low tide), to dig 
clams. The ground near the shore was much lower than the bar, 
and while we were busy digging clams and talking Mormonism 
the dashing of the waves of the incoming tide against the shore 
suddenly made us conscious that we had fifty yards of water be- 
tween that desirable place and ourselves. The surf waves added 
to our difficulty, and, as we had no boat, our only choice was to 


cross our four arms, thus forming a kind of armchair for our 
wives to sit upon, and carry them in turn to the shore, wading 
through two and a half feet of water. By the time we had our 
wives and clams safely landed, there was impressed firmly upon 
our minds the truth of the old saying, that 'time and tide wait for 
no man/ not even for a preacher of the gospel. 

"On the 28th of March I received a letter from Zion, request- 
ing me to counsel the Saints I had baptized to sell their property 
and gather to Zion. About this time the Lord was manifesting 
Himself in various ways upon the islands, by dreams, visions, 
healings, signs, and wonders. I will relate one peculiar circum- 
stance of this kind that occurred. Mr. Ebenezer Carver had been 
investigating our doctrines for quite a length of time, and having 
a great desire to know the truth of our religion, walked to the sea 
shore, wishing he might have some manifestation in proof of its 
truth. There came to his mind the passage of Scripture which 
says there will be no sign given 'but the sign of the Prophet Jonas.' 
While this thought was in his mind a large fish arose to the top of 
the water, out at sea some distance, and suddenly sank out of sight. 
He greatly desired to see it again, and it soon arose the second 
time, accompanied by another fish of about the same size, and one 
of them swam on the water in a straight line towards Mr. Carver, 
as he stood upon the shore. It came as near as the water would per- 
mit, stopped and gazed at him with a penetrating eye, as if it had 
a message for him, then returned to its mate in the ocean, and 
swam out of sight. Mr. Carver retraced his steps homeward, med- 
itating upon the scene and the wonderful condescension of the 
Lord. It is proper to say that this occurred at a season of the 
year when fish of that size are never known upon those shores or 
seas, and they are never, at any season, known to come so far 
inshore as in the case mentioned. Mr. Carver was convinced that 
it was intended by the Lord as a sign to him. 

"Two days after this event I visited Mr. Carver at his house, 
where his wife was confined to bed with a fever, and was requested 
to administer to her. I placed my hands upon her head, the power 
of God rested upon me, and in the name of Jesus Christ I com- 
manded her to arise and walk. She arose and was healed from 
that instant ; she walked down to the sea, and I baptized her in 


the same place where the fish visited her husband. I also con- 
firmed her there, and she was filled with the Holy Ghost and re- 
turned to her home rejoicing. 

"I called the people together and exhorted them to sell their 
property and prepare to accompany me to the land of Zion. I 
had labored hard for many days for the temporal and spiritual 
welfare of the inhabitants of those islands, and the Lord had 
blessed my labors and given me many souls as seals of my minis- 
try, for which I felt to praise Him ; and now I felt to labor quite as 
zealously to gather out those who had embraced the gospel, and 
lead them to Zion." 

Among the sad experiences of Wilford Woodruff during his 
mission to the Fox Islands was the fact thathis former missionary 
comrade, Warren Parrish, with others in Kirtland, had aposta- 
tized and left the Church. Wilford had been especially attached 
to Warren Parrish, because of their former missionary companion- 
ship. Elders who travel in the mission field realize how great is 
the love of missionaries for each other when they enjoy the spirit 
of their calling. He was pained severely to learn that Warren Par- 
rish had made shipwreck of his faith and taken the 
downward road. The cause thereof he explained as follows : 
"It might be stated here that Warren Parrish fell through 
disappointed ambition. He aspired to the Quorum of the 
Twelve, or to be a leading spirit of the Church. He 
was what is termed a smart man, and through his smartness, 
which was distorted by ambition, envy, and bitterness, he turned 
against Joseph and the Church, having fallen into darkness and 
given himself up to the power of Satan." The failure of War- 
ren Parrish was but one instance out of many. Joseph, the Proph- 
et, warned the elders against being thus envious and striving to 
excel each other through envy, instead of being excellent in doing 
good. At this period the Prophet and Saints were moving to Mis- 
souri. Apostasy and rebellion were rampant at Kirtland ; but Wil- 
ford Woodruff was undaunted, and continued his labors and bap- 
tized a considerable number who listened to his message. A scur- 
rilous letter sent by Warren Parrish to the postmaster at Vinal 
Haven aroused a strong opposition, but did not hinder the work 
of the Lord there. 


On the 11th of April, Elders Milton Holmes, James Towns- 
end, and Abner Rogers, who had come to the islands to attend the 
conference, again met with Elder Woodruff, and on April 13th 
conference was held on North Fox Island, with a goodly repre- 
sentation of the various branches of the Church on the islands. 
"On the 17th of April," writes Wilford, "Mrs. Woodruff left the 
islands, returning to her father's home in Scarboro, Maine, and 
a few. days afterwards I called the Saints of North Island to- 
gether and gave them some instructions. I also informed them 
that the spirit of God bore record to me that it was our duty to 
leave the islands for a season, and take a mission westward. They 
had been faithfully warned, and the Saints were established in 
the truth, while the wicked were contending against us and some 
were disposed to take our lives if they had the power. On the 
28th of April we left the island in an open sailboat, made our way 
to Owl's Head, and from there walked twenty miles. The follow- 
ing day we walked forty miles and suffered some from weary 
limbs and blistered feet, but we felt it was for the gospel's sake, 
and did not wish to complain. The next day a walk of thirty 
miles brought us to Scarboro, where we spent the night at Father 
Carter's. On the 8th of May I parted with Mrs. Woodruff and 
Father Carter and family, and in company with Milton Holmes 
walked thirty-three miles towards Portsmouth, which city we 
reached the following day, spending several hours there, visiting 
the navy yard. We then walked to Georgetown, formerly New 
Rowley, and spent the night with Father Nathaniel Holmes. 

"On the 11th of May I visited Charleston and the Bunker Hill 
Monument, and spent several hours in the city of Boston, which 
then contained a population of one hundred thousand. I ascended 
to the cupola of the courthouse, from which I had a fine view of 
the city; then I visited several of the Saints, and walked over the 
long bridge to Cambridge and Cambridgeport. I visited the jail 
there to have an interview with Brother A. P. Rockwood, who 
had been cast into prison on a charge of debt, to trouble and dis- 
tress him because he was a Mormon. This was the first time he 
and I had met. The jailer permitted me to enter the room where 
he was. It was the first time in my life that I had entered a 
prison ; the jailer turned the key upon us, and locked us both in. 


I found Brother Rockwood strong in the faith of the gospel. He 
had the Bible, Book of Mormon, Voice of Warning, and Evening 
and Morning Star as companions, and read them daily. We con- 
versed together for three hours in his solitary abode. He in- 
formed me of many things which had occurred at the jail while 
he was confined there as a prisoner. Among other things he re- 
lated that the jail had taken fire a few days previous to my visit. 
He said it looked a little like a dark hour; the fire was roaring 
over his head, while uproar and confusion were upon every hand ; 
fire-engines were playing rapidly around the building; the water 
was pouring into every room; the people were hallooing in the 
streets ; prisoners were begging for mercy's sake to be let out, or 
they would be consumed in the fire; one was struggling in the 
agonies of death ; while others were cursing and swearing. Brother 
Rockwood said he felt composed in the midst of it all. The fire 
was finally extinguished. At 8 o'clock the jailer unlocked the 
prison door and let me out, and I gave the parting hand to the 
prisoner. We had spent a pleasant time together, and he rejoiced 
at my visit ; and who would not, to meet with a friend in a lonely 
prison? I left him in good spirits, and wended my way back to 

"After spending several days in Boston, holding meetings 
with the Saints, I walked to Providence, Rhode Island, preaching 
by the way. There I took steamer, and arrived in New York 
on the 18th of May, where I met Elder Orson Pratt, his family, 
Elijah Fordham and nearly one hundred Saints who had been 
baptized in the city of New York. I remained in New York three 
days, visiting the Saints and holding meetings ; several new con- 
verts were baptized while I was there. Leaving New York, I 
traveled through New Jersey and returned to Farmington, Con- 
necticut, to the residence of my father, where I arrived on the 
12th of June. It was with peculiar sensations that I walked over 
my native land where I had spent my youth, and cast my eyes over 
the Farmington meadows and the hills and dales where I had 
roamed in my boyhood with my father, stepmother, brothers, and 

"On my arrival at my father's home, I had the happy priv- 
ilege of again taking my parents and sister by the hand. I also 


met my uncle, Ozem Woodruff, who was among the number I had 
baptized the year before. After spending an hour in conversa- 
tion, we sat down around father's table, supped together, and 
were refreshed. Then we bowed upon our knees in the family cir- 
cle, and offered up the gratitude of our hearts to God for pre- 
serving our lives and reuniting us. I spent the next eighteen days 
in Farmington and Avon, visiting my father's household, my 
uncles, aunts, cousings, neighbors, and friends, preaching to them 
the gospel of Jesus Christ, and striving to bring them into the 
Kingdom of God. 

"On the 1st of July, 1838, there occurred one of the most inter- 
esting events of my whole life in the ministry. When Father 
Joseph Smith gave me my patriarchal blessing, among the many 
wonderful things he promised me was that I should bring my 
father's household into the Kingdom of God ; and I felt that if I 
ever obtained that blessing, the time therefor had come. By 
the help of God I preached the gospel faithfully to my father's 
household and to all who were with him, as well as to my other 
relatives, and I appointed a meeting at my father's home on Sun- 
day, the 1st of July. My father was believing my testimony, as 
were all in his household; but upon this occasion it appeared as 
if the devil were determined to hinder the fulfillment of the prom- 
ise of the patriarch to me. It seemed as if Lucifer, the son of the 
morning, had gathered together the hosts of hell, and was ex- 
erting his powers upon us all. Distress overwhelmed the whole 
household, and all were tempted to reject the work; and it seemed 
as if the same power would devour me. I had to take to my bed 
for an hour before the time of meeting. There I prayed to the 
Lord with my whole soul for deliverance ; for I knew then that the 
power of the devil was exercised to hinder me from accomplishing 
what God had promised I should do. The Lord heard my prayer 
and answered my petition. When the hour of meeting came, I 
arose from my bed and could sing and shout for joy to think I 
had been delievered from the power of the evil one. Filled with 
the power of God, I stood in the midst of the congregation and 
preached unto the people in great plainness the gospel of Jesus 

"At the close of the meeting we assembled on the banks of the 


Farmington River, 'because there was much water there/ and I 
led six of my friends into the river and baptized them for the re- 
mission of their sins. All of my father's household were included 
in this number, as the patriarch had promised, and all were rel- 
atives except Dwight Webster, who was a Methodist class-leader, 
and was boarding with my father's family. I organized the small 
number of nine persons, eight of whom were my relatives, into a 
branch of the Church, ordained Dwight Webster to the office of 
priest, and administered unto them the Sacrament. It was truly 
a day of joy to my soul. I had baptized my father, stepmother, 
and sister, and I afterwards added a number of other relatives. I 
felt that the work of this day alone amply repaid me for all my 
labors in the ministry. 

"While upon Fox Islands I was impressed to visit my father's 
home. Now that the .purpose of the mission had been accom- 
plished I felt it my duty to return to the Islands. Monday, July 
2, 1838, was the last day and night I spent at my father's home 
while upon this mission. At the setting of the sun I took with my 
sister the last walk I ever had with her in my native state. We 
walked by the canal, viewed the river and the fields, and con- 
versed about the future. After evening prayer with the family, 
my father retired to rest, and I visited awhile with my stepmother, 
who had reared me from infancy. In conversation we felt sensibly 
the weight of the power of temptation out of which the Lord had 
delivered us/ I also spent a short time with my sister Eunice, the 
only sister I ever was blessed with in my father's family. I had 
baptized her into the Church and Kingdom of God,and we mingled 
our sympathies, prayers, and tears together before the throne of 

"How truly the bonds of consanguinity and the blood of 
Christ unite the hearts of the Saints of God! 'How bless- 
ings brighten as they take their flight!' This being the last 
night I was to spend beneath my father's roof while upon this 
mission, I felt its importance, and my prayer was, 'O Lord, pro- 
tect my father's house, and bring them to Zion!' . My prayer 
was granted. 

"On the morning of July 3rd, I took leave of my relatives and 
my native state, and started on my return to Maine. I arrived in 


Scarboro on the 16th, and on the 14th my first child, a daughter, 
was born, at Father Carter's house. We named her Sarah Emma. 
On the 30th of July I left my wife and child at Father Carter's, 
and started for Fox Islands. 

"While holding meeting with the Saints at North Vinal 
Haven, on the 9th of August, I received a letter from Elder 
Thomas B. Marsh, who was then President of the Twelve Apos- 
tles, informing me that the Prophet Joseph Smith had received a 
revelation from the Lord, naming as persons to be chosen to fill 
the places of those of the Twelve who had fallen. Those named 
were John E. Page, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff and Willard 
Richards. In his letter President Marsh added: 'Know then, 
Brother Woodruff, by this, that you are appointed to fill the place 
of one of the Twelve Apostles, and that it is agreeble to the word 
of the Lord, given very lately, that you should come speedily to Far 
West, and, on the 26th of April next, take your leave of the Saints 
here and depart for others climes, across the mighty deep.' The 
substance of this letter had been revealed to me several weeks be- 
fore, but I had not named it to any person." 

It was on the 8th of July, just one week after Wilford's mem- 
orable experience at his father's home, that this humble, faith- 
ful, diligent elder was called by the voice of God, through His 
prophet, to be one of the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb in this dis- 
pensation ; and Wilford being at the time many hundreds of miles 
distant from the Prophet, the Lord then revealed to him the fact of 
that calling. Wilford had been true to the Lord as a teacher, 
priest, elder, and seventy in His Church, and thus was worthy of 
the higher call that had come, and to be trusted with its increased 
responsibility. He was prepared by the revelations of heaven to 
his own soul to be an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ ; and his or- 
dination and leave-taking of the Saints at the designated place, on 
the 26th of the succeeding April, under the circumstances then ex- 
isting, were a manifestation of the miraculous power of God in 
witness of the prophetic office and gift that had been conferred 
from heaven upon Joseph Smith, the great Prophet of this dis- 

"The time having come for me to prepare to leave Fox Isl- 
ands," wrote Wilford, "I had a desire to take with me all the 


Saints I could get to go to Zion. Already there had been a line 
drawn between the Saints and those on the islands who had re- 
jected the Gospel, and enemies were very bitter against me and 
against the work of God I had labored to establish. They threat- 
ened my life, but the Saints were willing to stand by me. I spent 
four days with the Saints, visiting them, holding meetings, and en- 
couraging them, while the devil was raging upon every hand. I 
baptized into the Church and organized, while upon the islands, 
nearly one hundred persons ; and there seemed a prospect of gath- 
ering with me about half of them, but the devil raged to such an 
extent that some of them were terrified. 

"The inhabitants of the islands had but little acquaintance 
with the management of horses or wagons ; in fact, most of them 
knew more about handling a shark than a horse. However, in 
company with Nathaniel Thomas, who had sold his property and 
had money, I went to the mainland and purchased ten new wag- 
ons, ten sets of harness, and twenty horses. When I had every- 
thing prepared for the company to start, I left affairs with 
Brother Thomas and went ahead of the company to Scarboro, to 
prepare my own family for the journey. The outfit which I pur- 
chased for the company cost about two thousand dollars. Before 
leaving Brother Thomas I counseled him regarding the course 
to pursue, and charged him to be not later than the 1st of Sep- 
tember in starting from the mainland. I arrived at Father Carter's 
on the 19th of August, and waited with great anxiety for the com- 
pany from the islands, but instead of reaching here by the 1st of 
Sepember, they did not come till the 3rd of October; and when 
they did arrive the wagon covers were all flying in the breeze. It 
took a good day's work to nail down the covers, paint the wagons 
and get them ready for the journey." 

It should be remarked that in the very starting of this com- 
pany Nathaniel Thomas cheerfully stepped forward to the as- 
sistance of the poor and invested about one thousand dollars in 
wagons, horses, tents, etc., to fit out this company. While others 
who possessed this world's goods drew back and did not go with 
the poor lest they should be under the necessity of helping them. 

At this time Wilford had still another trial, and the integrity 
of his wife was further tested. Her parents, relatives, and friends 


strongly opposed her starting upon the journey, and used every in- 
fluence and argument they could against her accompanying her 
husband. They had been very kind to him, but when it came to 
parting with her on a journey of such a distance at such a time 
of the year, and to a land where her people were subjects of such 
bitter persecutions as were being inflicted upon the Saints in Mis- 
souri at that time, it was too much for them to acquiesce in. They 
knew that he must go, but they insisted that she must stay. Like 
her husband, she was of a spirit that did not shrink from duty 
when she knew it. Wilford said of her at the time : "Yes, Phoebe 
possessed too much firmness and faith and confidence in God to 
put her hand to the plough and then look back, or to give way to 
trials, however great. Like Ruth, she was determined to forsake 
kindred and country for my sake and for the cause in which we 
were engaged." Under these circumstances, and with a realizing 
sense of the dangers and hardships of the journey, and of painful 
conditions prevailing at their destination, they did not falter. 

"On the afternoon of the 9th of October," wrote Wilford, 
"we took leave of Father Carter and family, and started upon our 
journey of two thousand miles at this late season of the year, 
taking with me my wife, her nursing babe, to lead a company of 
fifty-three souls from Maine to Illinois, and to spend nearly three 
months traveling in wagons, through rain, mud, snow, and frost. 
It was such a trial as I never before had attempted during my ex- 
perience as a minister of the gospel. 

"We were joined at Georgetown by Elder Milton Holmes, 
and traveled each day as far as we could go, camping wherever 
night overtook us. On the 13th of October, while crossing the 
Green Mountains, I was attacked by something resembling chol- 
era, and was very sick ; I stopped at a house about two hours, and 
the elders having administered to me, I revived. On the 24th I 
was taken sick again, and my wife and child also were stricken 
down. Several others of the company were sick, through ex- 
posure. On the 31st we had our first snowstorm, and the horses 
dragged our wagons all day through mud, snow, and water. On 
the 2nd of November Elder Milton Holmes left us, and took 
steamer for Fairport; two days later, Nathaniel Thomas' little 
child, about six years of age, died, and we had to bury it at West- 


field. The roads finally became so bad and the cold so severe 
that Nathaniel Thomas and James Townsend concluded to stop 
for the winter; we parted with them on the 21st of November, 
near New Portage, Ohio. 

"My wife Phoebe was attacked on the 23rd of November by 
a severe headache, which terminated in brain fever; she grew 
more and more distressed daily as we continued our journey. It 
was a terrible ordeal for a woman to travel in a wagon over such 
rough rofids, afflicted as she was. At the same time our child 
was also very sick. 

"The 1st of December was a trying day to my soul. My wife 
continued to fail, and about four o'clock in the afternoon ap- 
peared to be stricken with death. I stopped my team, and it 
seemed as if she then would breathe her last, lying there in the 
wagon. Two of the sisters sat beside her, to see if they could do 
anything for her in her last moments. I stood upon the ground, in 
deep affliction, and meditated. Then I cried to the Lord, praying 
that she might live and not be taken from me, and claiming the 
promises the Lord had made to me through the Prophet and Patri- 
arch. Her spirit revived, and I drove a short distance to a tav- 
ern, got her into a room and worked over her and her babe all 
night, praying to the Lord to preserve their lives. 

"In the morning circumstances were such that I was under 
the necessity of removing them from the inn, as there was so 
much noise and confusion there that my wife could not endure it. 
I carried her out to her bed in the wagon and drove two miles, 
when I alighted at a house and carried my wife and her bed into 
it, with a determination to tarry there until she recovered her 
health or passed away. This was on Sunday morning, December 
2nd. After getting my wife and things into the house and pro- 
viding wood to keep up a fire, I employed my time in taking care 
of her. It looked as if she had but a short time to live. She called 
me to her bedside in the evening, and said she felt as if a few 
moments more would end her existence in this life. She manifest- 
ed great confidence in the cause we had embraced, and exhorted 
me to have confidence in God, and to keep His commandments. 
To all appearances she was dying. I laid hands upon her and 


entered her tabernacle, and she saw the messengers carry the 
coffin out of the door. 

"On the morning of the 6th of December, the spirit said to 
me, 'Arise, and continue thy journey/ and through the mercy of 
God my wife was enabled to arise and dress herself; she walked 
to the wagon, and we went on our way rejoicing. 

"The weather being very cold, on the night of the 11th I 
stopped for the night at an inn. I there learned of the sudden 
death of my brother, Asahel H. Woodruff, a merchant of Terre 
Haute, Indiana. I had anticipated that the following day I should 
have a joyful meeting with this brother; instead of this, I had 
only the privilege of visiting his grave, in company with my wife, 
and of examining a little into his business. I was offered the po- 
sition of administrator of his affairs, but I was leading a company 
of Saints to Zion, and could not stop to attend to his temporal bus- 
iness. Strangers settled his affairs and took possession of his 
property ; his relatives obtained nothing from his effects but a few 
trifling mementoes. 

"I left this place on the 13th of December and crossed into 
Illinois, arriving at Rochester on the 19th. Getting information 
there of the severe persecutions of the Saints in Missouri, and of 
the unsettled state of the Church at that time, we concluded to 
stop at Rochester and spend the winter there. 

"Thus ended my journey of two months and sixteen days. I 
had led the Fox Island Saints to the West, through all the perils 
of a journey of nearly two thousand miles, in the midst of sick- 
ness and great severity of weather. In the spring I took my 
family and removed to Quincy, Illinois, where I could mingle 
with my brethren; and I felt to praise God for His protecting 
care over me and my family in all our afflictions." 



Mobocrats Seek To Prevent the Fulfillment of a Revelation Given 
Through the Prophet Joseph Smith, but Are Disappointed. — Temple 
Cornerstone at Far West Laid. — Wilford Returns to Illinois. — The 
Prophet Joseph Liberated from Prison in Missouri. — A Survivor 
of Haun's Mill Massacre. — Selection of Nauvoo as a Place for the 
Settlement of the Saints. — A Day of God's Power. — Many Sick Are 
Healed, and a Dying Man Raised to Life. — Incident of Wilford 
Receiving a Hankerchief from the Prophet Joseph. — Instructed 
as to What He Shall Preach on His -Mission. — Lesson in Humility. 
— Warning against Treachery. — Wilford Starts on His Mission, 
Sick and without Money. — Experiences of His Journey to New 
York. — Sails for Liverpool, England. 

The revelation calling Wilford Woodruff to the apostleship, 
and directing him, with others, to engage in missionary labors 
abroad, fixed a time and a place for the departure of these apostles 
on their mission to Great Britain. It was the declared purpose of 
the mob to prevent the fulfillment of this revelation. When the 
word of the Lord was given on this matter, all was peace and 
quiet in Far West, Missouri, the city where most of the Latter- 
day Saints dwelt at that time; but before the day of fulfillment 
came, the Saints had been driven out of the State of Missouri into 
the State of Illinois, under the edict of Governor Boggs; and the 
Missourians had sworn that if all the other revelations to Joseph 
Smith were fulfilled, this one should not be. But man cannot stay 
the purposes of God; this occasion was no exception to the rule, 
and it affords one of many notable instances that show how the Al- 
mighty maintains a special guidance over the work of this dispen- 
sation which He has committed to the Latter-day Saints. In this 
revelation, given July 8, 1838, He said: 

"Let them take leave of my Saints in the city of Far West, 
on the 26th day of April next, on the building spot of my house, 
saith the Lord. Let my servant John Taylor, and also my servant 
John E. Page, and also my servant Wilford Woodruff, and also 
my servant Willard Richards, be appointed to fill the places of 
those who have fallen, and be officially notified of their appoint- 

Of this period, Wilford writes in his journal that, "it seemed 


as though the Lord, having a foreknowledge of what would take 
place, had given the revelation in this manner to see whether or 
not the Apostles would obey it at the risk of their lives. When 
the time drew near for the fulfillment of this commandment, Brig- 
ham Young was the President of the Twelve Apostles, Thomas 
B. Marsh, who had been the senior apostle, had fallen. Brother 
Brigham called together those of the Twelve who were then at 
Quincy, Illinois, to see what their minds would be about going to 
Far West in fulfillment of the revelation. The Prophet Joseph, 
his brother Hyrum, Sidney Rigdon, Lyman Wight, and Parley P. 
Pratt, were in prison in Missouri; but Father Joseph Smith, the 
patriarch, was at Quincy, Illinois. He and others who were pres- 
ent did not think it wisdom for us to attempt the journey, as our 
lives would be in great jeopardy. They thought the Lord would 
take the will for the deed. But when President Young asked 
the Twelve what their feelings were, all of them, as the voice of 
one man, said the Lord God had spoken, and it was for them to 
obey. It was the Lord's business to take care of His servants, and 
they would fulfill the commandment, or die trying. 

"To understand fully the risk the Twelve ran in making this 
journey, it should be understood that Lilburn W. Boggs, govern- 
or of the state of Missouri, had issued a proclamation in which 
all the Latter-day Saints were required to leave Missouri or be 
exterminated. Far West had been captured by the militia, who 
really were only an organized mob; the citizens had been com- 
pelled to give up their arms ; all the leading men who could be got 
hold of had been taken prisoners; the rest of the Saints — men, 
women, and children — had to flee out of the state as best they 
could to save their lives, leaving their houses, lands and other 
property, which they could not carry with them, to be taken by 
the mob. The latter shot down the cattle and hogs of the Saints 
wherever they could find them, and robbed the people of nearly 
everything they could lay their hands on. The Saints were treat- 
ed with merciless cruelty, and had to endure the most outrageous 
abuses. It was with the greatest difficulty that many of them, es- 
pecially the prominent ones, got out of Missouri, for at that time 
many people of that state acted as though they thought it no more 
harm to shoot a Mormon than to shoot a mad dog. From this 


brief explanation it will be understood why some of the brethren 
thought we were not required to go back to Far West, to start 
from there upon our mission across the ocean to Europe. 

"Having determined to carry out the requirements of the rev- 
elation," continues Wilford Woodruff, "on the 18th of April, 1839, 
I took into my wagon Brigham Young and Orson Pratt ; Father 
Cutler took into his wagon John Taylor and George A. Smith, and 
we started for Far West. On the way we met John E. Page, who 
was going with his family to Quincy, Illinois. His wagon had 
turned over, and when we met him he was trying to gather up 
with his hands a barrel of soft soap. We helped him with his 
wagon. He then drove into the valley below, left his wagon, and 
accompanied us on our way. On the night of the 25th of April we 
arrived at Far West, and spent the night at the home of Morris 
Phelps. He had been taken a prisoner by the mob, and was still in 

"On the morning of the 26th of April, 1839, notwithstanding 
the threats of our enemies that the revelation which was to be ful- 
filled this day should not be fulfilled; notwithstanding ten thou- 
sand of the Saints had been driven out of the state by the edict of 
the governor; and notwithstanding the Prophet Joseph and his 
brother Hyrum Smith, with other leading men, were in the hands 
of our enemies in chains and in prison, we moved on to the 
Temple grounds in the city of Far West, held a council, and ful- 
filled the revelation and commandment given to us. We also ex- 
communicated from the Church thirty-one persons who had apos- 
tatized and become its enemies. The 'Mission of the Twelve' was 
sung, and we repaired to the southeast corner of the Temple 
ground, where, with the assistance of Elder Alpheus Cutler, the 
master workman of the building committee, we laid the southeast 
chief cornerstone of the Temple, according to revelation. There 
were present of the Twelve Apostles : Brigham Young, Heber C 
Kimball, Orson Pratt, John E. Page, and John Taylor ; they pro- 
ceeded to ordain Wilford Woodruff and George A. Smith to the 

"Darwin Chase and Norman Shearer, who had just been lib- 
erated from Richmond prison, were then ordained to the office of 


"The Twelve then gave the parting hand to the following 
Saints, agreeable to revelation : A. Butler, Elias Smith, Norman 
Shearer, William Burton, Stephen Markham, Shadrach Roundy, 
William O. Clark, John W. Clark, Hezekiah Peck, Darwin Chase, 
Richard Howard, Mary Ann Peck, Artimesia Granger, Martha 
Peck, Sarah Granger, Theodore Turley, Hiram Clark, and Daniel 

"Bidding good-by to this small remnant of the Saints who re- 
mained on the Temple ground to see us fulfill the revelation and 
commandment of God, we turned our backs on Far West, Mis- 
souri, and returned to Illinois. We had accomplished the mis- 
sion without a dog moving his tongue at us, or any man saying, 
'Why do ye so?' We crossed the Mississippi river on the steam 
xerry, entered Quincy on the 2nd of May, and all of us had tne 
joy of reaching our families once more in peace and safety. Thus 
the word of God was complied with. 

"While on our way to fulfill the revelation, Joseph, the Proph- 
et, and his companions in chains were liberated, through the bless- 
ings of God, from their enemies and prison, and passed us. We 
were not far distant from each other, but neither party knew it 
at the time. They were making their way to their families in 
Illinois, while we were traveling to Far West into the midst of our 
enemies; so they came home to their families and friends before 
our return. 

"May 3rd, 1839, was a very interesting day to me, as well as 
to others. In company with five others of the quorum of the 
Twelve, I rode to Mr. Cleveland's, four miles out of town, to visit 
Brother Joseph Smith and his family. Once more I had the happy 
privilege of taking Brother Joseph by the hand. Two years had 
rolled away since I had seen his face. He greeted us with great 
joy, as did Hyrum Smith and Lyman Wight, all of whom had es- 
caped together from their imprisonment. They had been confined 
in prison six months, and had been under sentence of death three 
times; yet their lives were in the hands of God. He delivered 
them, and now they were mingling with their wives, children, and 
friends, out of the reach of the mob. Joseph was frank, open, and 
familiar as usual, and our rejoicing was great. No man can un- 
derstand the joyful sensations created by such a meeting, except 
one who has been in tribulation for the gospel's sake. 


"After spending the day together we returned to our families 
at night. The day following was May 4th ; we met in conference 
at Quincy, the Prophet Joseph presiding, his presence causing 
great joy to all the Saints On Sunday, May 5th, Joseph Smith 
addressed the assembly. He was followed by Sidney Rigdon and 
the Twelve Apostles. The spirit of the Lord was poured out upon 
us, and we had a glorious day. 

"On May 6th I met with the seventies, and we ordained 
sixty men into the quorums of elders and seventies. Brother Jos- 
eph met with the Twelve, and with bishops and elders, at Bishop 
Partridge's house. There were with us a number who were 
wounded at Haun's Mill ; among these was Isaac Laney, who, in 
company with about twenty others, had been at the mill when a 
large and armed mob fired among them with rifles and other 
weapons, shot down seventeen of the brethren, and wounded oth- 
ers. Brother Laney fled from the scene, but they sent a volley of 
lead after him, piercing his body in many places. He showed me 
eleven bullet holes in his body. There were twenty-seven bullet 
holes in his shirt, and seven in his pantaloons. His coat was lit- 
erally cut to pieces. One ball entered one armpit and came out at 
the other ; another entered his back and came out at the breast ; a 
ball passed through each hip, each leg, and each arm. All these 
were received while he was running for his life; and, strange as 
it may appear, though he also had one of his ribs broken, he was 
able to outrun his enemies, and his life was saved. We can 
acknowledge this deliverance to be only through the mercy of 
God. President Joseph Young was also among the number who 
escaped at Haun's Mill. As he fled, the balls flew around him 
like hail, yet he was not even wounded. How mysterious are the 
ways of the Lord! 

"Before starting on our mission to England, we were under 
the necessity of locating our families. A place called Commerce, 
afterwards named Nauvoo, was selected as the site on which 
our people should settle. In company with Brother Brigham 
Young and our families, I left Quincy on the 15th of May, ar- 
riving in Commerce on the 18th. After an interview with Joseph, 
we crossed the river at Montrose, Iowa. President Brigham 
Young and myself, with our families, occupied one room about 


fourteen feet square. Finally Brother Young obtained another 
room and moved into it; then Brother Orson Pratt and family 
moved into the same room with myself and family. 

"While I was living in this cabin in the old barracks we ex- 
perienced, with the Prophet Joseph, a day of God's power. It 
was a very sickly time; Joseph had given up his home in Com- 
merce to the sick, and had a tent pitched in his dooryard and 
was living in that himself. The large number of Saints who had 
been driven out of Missouri were flocking into Commerce, but had 
no homes to go to, and were living in wagons, in tents, and on 
the ground; many, therefore, were sick through the exposure to 
which they were subjected. Brother Joseph had waited on them 
until he was worn out and nearly sick himself. 

"On the morning of the 22nd of July, 1§39, he arose, reflect- 
ing upon the situation of the Saints of God in their persecutions 
and afflictions. He called upon the Lord in prayer, the power of 
God rested upon him mightily, and as Jesus healed all the sick 
around Him in His day, so Joseph, the Prophet of God, healed all 
around on this occasion. He healed all in his house and dooryard ; 
then, in company with Sidney Rigdon and several of the Twelve, 
went among the sick lying on the bank of the river, where he com- 
manded them in a loud voice, in the name of Jesus Christ, to rise 
and be made whole, and they were all healed. When he had healed 
all on the east side of the river that were sick, he and his com- 
panions crossed the Mississippi River in a ferry-boat to the west 
side, where we were, at Montrose. The first house they went into 
was President Brigham Young's. He was sick on his bed at the 
time.. The Prophet went into his house and healed him, and they 
all came out together. 

"As they were passing by my door, Brother Joseph said: 
'Brother Woodruff, follow me.' These were the only words spok- 
en by any of the company from the time they left Brother Brig- 
ham's house till they crossed the public square, and entered 
Brother Fordham's house. Brother Fordham had been dying for 
an hour, and we expected each minute would be his last. I felt the 
spirit of God that was overpowering His Prophet. When we 
entered the house, Brother Joseph walked up to Brother Ford- 
ham and took him by the right hand, his left hand holding his hat. 


He saw that Brother Fordham's eyes were glazed, and that he 
was speechless and unconscious. 

"After taking his hand, he looked down into the dying man's 
face and said: 'Brother Fordham, do you not know me?' At 
first there was no reply, but we all could see the effect of the spirit 
of God resting on the afflicted man. Joseph again spoke. 'Elijah, 
do you not know me?' With a low whisper Brother Fordham 
answered, 'Yes.' The Prophet then said : 'Have you not faith to 
be healed?' The answer, which was a little plainer than before, 
was : 'I am afraid it is too late ; if you had come sooner, I think I 
might have been.' He had the appearance of a man waking from 
sleep; it was the sleep of death. Joseph then said: 'Do you be- 
lieve that Jesus' is the Christ?' 'I do, Brother Joseph/ was the 
response. Thea the Prophet of God spoke with a loud voice, as in 
the majesty of Jehovah: 'Elijah, I command you, in the name of 
Jesus of Nazareth, to arise and be made whole.' 

"The words of the Prophet were not like the words of man, 
but like the voice of God. It seemed to me that the house shook 
on its foundation. Elijah Fordham leaped from his bed like a 
man raised from the dead. A healthy color came to his face, and 
life was manifested in every act. His feet had been done up in 
Indian meal poultices ; he kicked these off his feet, scattered the 
contents, then called for his clothes and put them on. He asked 
for a bowl of bread and milk, and ate it. He then put on his hat 
and followed us into the street, to visit others who were sick. 

"The unbeliever may ask, 'Was there not deception in this ?' 
If there is any deception in the mind of the unbeliever, there was 
certainly none with Elijah Fordham, the dying man, or with those 
who were present with him ; for in a few minutes he would have 
been in the spirit world, if he had not been rescued. Through the 
blessing of God he lived up till 1880, when he died in Utah; while 
all who were with him on that occasion, with the exception of one 
(myself), are in the spirit world. Among the number present 
were Joseph and Hyrum Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Brigham Young, 
Heber C. Kimball, George A. Smith, Parley P. Pratt, Orson 
Pratt, and Wilford Woodruff. 

"As soon as we left Brother Fordham's house, we went into 
the home of Joseph B. Noble, who was very low. When we en- 


tered the house, Brother Joseph took Brother Noble by the hand, 
and commanded him, in the name of Jesus Christ, to arise and be 
made whole. He did arise, and was healed immediately. 

"While this was going on, the wicked mob in the place, led 
by one Kilburn, had become alarmed, and followed us into Brother 
Noble's house. Before they arrived there, Brother Joseph called 
upon Brother Fordham to offer prayer. While he was praying, 
the mob entered, with all the evil spirits accompanying them. As 
soon as they entered, Brother Fordham, who was praying, fainted, 
and sank to the floor. When Joseph saw the mob in the house, 
he arose and had the room cleared of both that class of men and 
their attendant devils. Then Brother Fordham immediately re- 
vived, and finished his prayer. 

"The case of Brother Noble was the last one of healing upon 
that day. It was the greatest day for the manifestation of the 
power of God through the gift of healing since the organization of 
the Church. When we left Brother Noble's, the Prophet Joseph, 
with those who had accompanied him from the other side, went to 
the bank of the river, to return home. 

"While waiting for the ferry-boat, a man of the world, know- 
ing of the miracles which had been performed, came to Joseph 
and asked him if he would not go and heal twin children of 
his, about five months old, who were both lying sick nigh unto 
death. They were some two miles from Montrose. The Prophet 
said he could not go ; but, after pausing some time, said he would 
send some one to heal them ; and he turned to me and said : 'You 
go with the man and heal his children.' He took a red silk hand- 
kerchief out of his pocket, gave it to me, told me to wipe their faces 
with the handkerchief when I administered to them, and they 
should be healed. He also said to me : 'As long as you will keep 
that handkerchief, it shall remain a league between you and me.' 
I went with the man, did as the Prophet commanded me, and the 
children were healed. I have possession of the handkerchief unto 
this day. 

"On the first of July, 1839, Joseph Smith and his counselors, 
Sidney Rigdon and Hyrum Smith, crossed the river to Montrose, 
to spend the day with the Twelve, and to set them apart and bless 


them before they started upon their missions. There were twelve 
of us who met there, and we dined in my house. 

"After dinner we assembled at Brother Brigham Young's 
house for our meeting. Brother Hyrum Smith opened by prayer ; 
after which the Presidency laid their hands upon our heads and 
gave each of us a blessing. President Rigdon was mouth in bless- 
ing me, and also blessed Sisters Young, Taylor, and Woodruff. 
The Prophet Joseph promised us that if we were faithful we 
would be blessed upon our mission, save many souls as seals of 
our ministry, and return again in peace and safety to our friends ; 
all of which was fulfilled. 

"Brother Hyrum advised me to preach the first principles of 
the gospel ; he thought that was about as much as this generation 
could endure. Then Joseph arose and preached some precious 
things of the Kingdom of God unto us, in the power of the Holy 
Ghost, some of which I here copy : 'Ever keep in exercise the prin- 
ciple of mercy, and be ready to forgive your brethren on the first 
intimation of their repentance and desire for forgiveness ; for your 
heavenly Father will be equally merciful to you. We ought also 
to be willing to repent of and confess our sins, and keep nothing 
back. Let the Twelve be humble and not be exalted, and beware 
of pride, and not seek to excel one another, but act for each other's 
good, and honorably make mention of each other's names in 
prayer before the Lord and before your fellowmen. Do not 
backbite or injure a brother. The elders of Israel should seek to 
learn by precept and example in this late age of the world, and 
not be obliged to learn by sad experience everything they know. 
I trust the remainder of the Twelve will learn wisdom, and will 
not follow the example of those who have fallen. When the 
Twelve, or any other witnesses of Jesus Christ, stand before the 
congregations of the earth, and preach in the power and demon- 
stration of the Holy Ghost, and the people are astonished and con- 
founded at the doctrine and say, "those men have preached 
powerful sermons," then let them take care that they do not 
ascribe the glory unto themselves, but be careful to be humble, 
and to ascribe the glory to God and the Lamb; for it is by the 
power of the Holy Priesthood and the Holy Ghost that they have 


the power thus to speak. Who art thou, O man, but dust! and 
from whom dost thou receive thy power and blessings, but from 
God ! Then let the Twelve Apostles and elders of Israel observe 
this key, and be wise : Ye are not sent out to be taught, but to 
teach. Let every man be sober, be vigilant, and let all his words 
be seasoned with grace, and keep in mind that it is a day of warn- 
ing, and not of many words. Act honestly before God and man ; 
beware of sophistry, such as bowing and scraping unto men in 
whom you have no confidence. Be honest, open, and frank in all 
your intercourse with mankind. I wish to say to the Twelve, 
and to all the Saints: profit by this important key, that in all 
your trials, troubles, temptations, afflictions, bonds, imprisonments, 
and deaths, you do not betray Jesus Christ, that you do not be- 
tray the revelations of God, whether in the Bible, Book of Mor- 
mon, or Doctrine and Covenants, or in any of the words of God. 
Yea, in all your troubles, see that you do not this thing, lest in- 
nocent blood be found upon your skirts, and ye go down to hell. 
We may ever know by this sign that there is danger of our being 
led to a fall and apostasy when, we give way to the devil, so as 
to neglect the first known duty; but whatever you do, do not be- 
tray your friend.' 

"The foregoing are some of the instructions given by the 
Prophet Joseph, before the Apostles started upon their missions. 

"Inasmuch as the devil had been thwarted in a measure by 
the Twelve going to Far West and returning without harm, it 
seemed as though the destroyer was determined to make some 
other attempt upon us to hinder us from performing our missions ; 
for as soon as any one of the Apostles began to prepare for start- 
ing he was smitten with chills and fever, or sickness of some kind. 
Nearly all of the quorum of the Twelve or their families began to 
be sick, so it still required the exercise of a good deal of faith and 
perseverance to start off on a mission. 

"On the 25th of July, I was attacked with chills and fever, 
for the first time in my life ; this I had every other day, and when- 
ever attacked, I was laid prostrate. My wife, Phoebe, was also 
taken down with the chills and fever, as were quite a number of 
the Twelve. 

"I passed thirteen days in Montrose with my family, after 


I was taken sick, before I started on my mission. The 7th of 
August was the last day I spent at home in Montrose. Although 
sick with the chills and fever most of the day, I made what prep- 
arations I could to start on the morrow on a mission of four 
thousand miles, to preach the gospel to the nations of the earth ; 
and this, too, without purse or scrip, with disease resting upon me, 
and an attack of fever and ague afflicting me once every two days. 

"Early upon the morning of the 8th of August, I arose from 
my bed of sickness, laid my hands upon the head of my sick wife, 
Phoebe, and blessed her. I then departed from the embrace of 
my companion, and left her almost without food or the necessaries 
of life. She suffered my departure with the fortitude that be- 
comes a saint, realizing the responsibilities of her companion. I 
quote from my journal: Thoebe, farewell! Be of good cheer; re- 
member me in your prayers. I leave these pages for your perusal 
when I am gone. I shall see your face again in the flesh. I go to 
obey the commands of Jesus Christ/ 

"Although feeble, I walked to the banks of the Mississippi 
River. There President Young took me in a canoe (having no 
other conveyance), and paddled me across the m river. When 
we landed, I lay down on a side of sole, leather, by the postofiice, 
to rest. Brother Joseph, the Prophet of God, came along and 
looked at me. 'Well, Brother Woodruff/ said he, 'you have 
started upon your mission/ 'Yes/ said I, 'but I feel and look 
more like a subject for the dissecting room than a missionary/ 
Joseph replied: 'What did you say that for? Get up, and go 
along; all will be right with you/ 

"I name* these incidents that the reader may know how the 
brethren of the Twelve Apostles started upon their missions to 
England in 1839. Elder John Taylor was going with me ; we were 
the first two of the quorum of the Twelve who started upon that 
mission. Brother Taylor was about the only man in the quorum 
who was not sick. 

"Soon a brother came along with a wagon, and took us in. 
As we were driving through the place, we came to Parley P. Pratt, 
who was stripped to his shirt and pants, with his head and feet 
bare. He was hewing a log, preparatory to building a cabin. He 
said : 'Brother Woodruff, I have no money, but I have an empty 


purse, which I will give you.' He brought it to me, and I thanked 
him for it. We went a few rods farther and met Brother Heber 
C. Kimball, in the same condition, also hewing a log to build a 
cabin. He said : 'As Parley has given you a purse, I have got a 
dollar I will give you to put in it.' He gave me both a dollar and 
a blessing. 

"We drove sixteen miles across a prairie, and spent the night 
with a Brother Merrill. The day following we rode ten miles to a 
Brother Perkins'. He took us in his wagon to Macomb, and from 
there to Brother Don Carlos Smith's. During the day I rode 
four hours over a very rough road of stones and stumps, lying on 
my back in the bottom of the wagon, shaking with the ague, and 
suffering very much. We held a meeting in a grove near Don 
Carlos Smith's, and there Elder Taylor baptized George Miller, 
who afterwards was ordained a bishop. At the meeting the Saints 
gave us nine dollars, and George Miller gave us a horse to help 
us on our journey. 

"I rode to Rochester with Father Coltrin, and there had an 
interview with several families of the Fox Islands Saints, whom 
I had brought with me from the Fox Islands in 1838. I spent sev- 
eral days with them and at Springfield, where Elder Taylor pub- 
lished, in pamphlet form, fifteen hundred copies of a brief sketch 
of the persecutions and sufferings of the Latter-day Saints, in- 
flicted by the inhabitants of Missouri. We sold our horse, and, 
in company with Father Coltrin, Brother Taylor and myself left 
Springfield and continued our journey. I had the chills and fever 
nearly every other day. This made riding in a lumber wagon very 
distressing to me, especially when I shook with the ague. 

"On the 24th of August we rode to Terre Haute, and spent 
the night with Dr. Modisett. I suffered much with the chills and 
fever. Up to this time, Elder John Taylor had appeared to enjoy 
excellent health, but the destroyer did not intend to make him an 
exception* to the rest of the apostles. On the 28th of August he 
fell to the ground as though he had been knocked down. He faint- 
ed, but soon revived. On the following day the enemy made a 
powerful attack upon his life. He fainted several times, and it 
seemed as if he would die. We stopped several hours with him 
at a house by the wayside. We then took him into the wagon, 


drove to Horace S. Eldredge's and spent the remainder of the day 
and night doctoring him. In the morning he was so far recovered 
that he thought he would be able to ride; so we started on our 
journey on the morning of the 30th, traveled forty miles to Louis- 
vill, and spent the night with the family of Brother James Towns- 
end. We felt terribly shaken up, being in such a weak state. 
Brother Townsend was away from home, but we were kindly 
entertained by Sister Townsend. In the morning, Elder Taylor, 
though very weak, felt disposed to continue the journey, and we 
traveled fourteen miles to Germantown. Elder Taylor was quite 
sick that night, and a bilious fever seemed to settle upon him. I 
was also very feeble. 

"The day following being Sunday, September 1st, Brother 
Taylor concluded to remain for the day, and hold a meeting. It 
was a German settlement. He wished me to speak, and I did so, 
dwelling upon the first principles of the gospel. He followed me, 
and spoke until he was exhausted. After we returned to the inn 
where we were stopping, I was taken with a chill and fever, and 
had a very bad night. Brother Taylor also was very sick. 

"The next day, September 2nd, was a painful day to my feel- 
ings. It was evident that Brother Taylor had a settled fever upon 
him, and would not be able to travel. Father Coltrin was resolved 
to continue his journey, and, in conversing with Brother Taylor, 
the latter thought it better for one sick man to be left than for 
two, as I was so ill with chills and fever that I was not able to 
render him any assisance, nor, indeed, to take care of myself. Un- 
der these circumstances, Brother Taylor advised me to continue 
my journey with Brother Coltrin, and make the best of my way 
to New York. 

"After committing Elder Taylor into the hands of the Lord, 
I gave him the parting hand — though painful to me — and started. 
I left him in Germantown, Wayne County, Indiana, in the hands 
of a merciful God and a kind and benevolent family who prom- 
ised to do everything in their power to make him comfortable till 
his recovery. This they did, though he passed through a severe 
course of bilious fever, and was sick nigh unto death. Through 
the mercy of God, however, he recovered from his sickness, and 
continued his journey. We next met in the city of New York. 


"I continued on with Father Coltrin, and reached Cleveland 
on the 18th of September. There we took steamer for Buffalo, 
but were in a storm three days before we made the harbor. We 
landed at midnight, and in doing so ran into a schooner and stove 
it in. From Buffalo I traveled to Albany in a canal boat, and had 
an attack of the ague daily. At Albany I took a stage in the night, 
and rode to my father's home in Farmington, reaching there on 
the 21st of September. I was glad to meet with my father's fam- 
ily, and the other members of the small branch of the Church 
which existed there upon this occasion, as I found them all strong 
in the faith of the gospel, and glad to meet me. I was still suffer- 
ing with the ague. On the 27th of September, my grandmother 
(on my mother's side), Anna Thompson, died at Avon. She was 
eighty-four years of age. It was a singular coincidence that she, 
with her husband, Lot Thompson, also Mercy Thompson, and 
Samuel Thompson, all of one family, died when they were 
eighty-four years of age. I was not able to attend my grand- 
mother's funeral. 

"On the 4th of October, 1839, my uncle, Adna Hart, died, 
aged forty-three years. I had visited him in his sickness, preached 
the gospel to him, and he was believing. I had been associated 
with him from my youth up. On his death bed he sent me a re- 
quest that I preach his funeral sermon. I was having the chills 
and fever daily at the time, attended with a very severe cough, 
so much so that my father thought I would never leave his home 
alive ; but when they brought me the request of my dying uncle, 
and the day came for his buriai, I told my father to get his horse 
and buggy ready, as I was going to attend the funeral. He 
thought I was very reckless about my own life, as I had suffered 
with chills and fever some fifteen days, and to attempt to speak 
in my weak state, and to begin at the same hour that my chill was 
to come on, seemed to him foolhardy. My parents were quite 
alarmed, yet according to my request my father got up his team, 
and I rode with him and my stepmother five miles, through a cold, 
chilly wind, and commenced speaking to a large congregation at 
the same hour that my chills had been accustomed to come on. 
I spoke with great freedom for over an hour; my chills left me 
for that time, and I had no more attacks for many days. 

"On the Monday following, October 17th, I felt sufficiently 


restored to health to continue my journey. I took leave of my 
father and sister, and left for New York, where I arrived on the 
morning of the 8th of November. I spent two months and seven 
days after my arrival in New York, in traveling and preaching in 
that city, and in New Jersey and Long Island, a portion of the 
time with Parley and Orson Pratt. During this period I had fre- 
quent attacks of the chills and fever, but I preached almost daily. 

"On the 13th of December, I attended our conference in New 
York City, with Elder Parley P. Pratt, who prophesied that the 
mission of the Twelve to Great Britain would be known to all na- 
tions, as it surely has been. On this day Elder John Taylor ar- 
rived in our midst. It was a happy meeting ; he had passed through 
a severe siege of sickness after we parted, but through the mercy 
of God had been preserved, and was able to continue his journey. 
He informed us that others of the Twelve had suffered a great deal 
of sickness, and that it was with difficulty that they could travel. 

"After spending six days in New York, Elder John Taylor, in 
company with Elder Theodore Turley and myself, sailed out of 
New York harbor on the 19th of December, 1839, on board the 
packet ship Oxford. We took steerage passage, which cost fifteen 
dollars each. We had storms and rough weather, but most of the 
winds were favorable to a quick passage. While on the $hip, a 
Methodist minister got into a discussion with some Catholics who 
were in the company, and the arguments of the minister ran rather 
more into abuse than sound argument. Elder Taylor told the 
Methodist minister that he did not think it was becoming in a 
daughter to find so much fault with the mother ; for, as the Meth- 
odists came out of the Catholics, Elder Taylor thought the mother 
had as much right to enjoy her religion unmolested as the daughter 
had. That ended the argument. Our company consisted of one 
hundred and nine souls, composed of Americans, English, Scotch, 
Irish, Welsh, and Dutch." 

While in New York preparing for his departure for Europe, 
Elder Woodruff twice saw his wife in a dream. The second time 
she was weeping, and both times was in great affliction. Upon his 
inquiring after their little daughter, Sister Woodruff answered, 
"She is dead." The warning in this dream received fulfilment on 
the 17th of the following July , the child dying on that date, while 
he was in England. 



Wilford's Arrival in England. — Missionary Work Begun. — Casting 
Out a Devil. — -Directed by the Spirit of the Lord to Another Field 
of Labor. — Meets with the United Brethren. — Many Conversions 
to the Gospel. — Ministers Hold a Convention To Ask Parliament 
for Legislation against the Mormons. — First Publication of the 
Book of Mormon and the Hymn Book in England. — The Millennial 
Star. — In the British Metropolis. — Unable to Secure a Hall To 
Preach in, the Elders Hold Street Meetings. — First Baptism in 
London. — Opposition from Preachers. — Work of God Makes Mar- 
velous Progress. 

The voyage across the Atlantic ocean was made in twenty 
three days, and Wilford Woodruff and his companions landed at 
Liverpool, England, on the 11th day of January, 1840. After 
visiting George Cannon, father of President George Q. Cannon, 
and family, they left Liverpool on January 13th, going to Preston, 
where a branch of the Church had been built up in 1837, by Elders 
Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, and Willard Richards. The latter 
had remained in England, while Elders Kimball and Hyde had re- 
turned to America. The meeting with Elder Richards was very 
pleasant. On January 17th a council was held at his home to de- 
termine the future actions of the elders. 

"After consultation as to the best course for us to pursue," 
says Elder Woodruff, "it was finally resolved that Elders John 
Taylor and Joseph Fielding should go to Liverpool ; Elder Wood- 
ruff, to Staffordshire Potteries; Elder Theodore Turley, to Bir- 
mingham ; Elder Richards, wherever the spirit might direct him ; 
and that Elder William Clayton preside over the branch in Man- 
chester. After various principles of the Church had been expound- 
ed by the Apostles present, the council adjourned. Elder Willard 
Richards had been called to be one of the quorum of the Twelve 
Apostles, but had not yet received his ordination. 

"On the day following I parted with Elders Taylor and Field- 
ing, who went to Liverpool, and with Elder Richards, who tarried 
in Preston. Elder Turley and I went to Manchester; it was the 
first time I had visited that city. There I met for the first time 
Elder William Clayton. As soon as I was introduced to him, he 
informed me that one of the sisters in that place was possessed of 


a devil. He asked me if I would not go and cast it out of her. 
He thought one of the Twelve Apostles could do most anything 
in such a case. I went with him to the house where the woman 
lay, in the hands of three men, in a terrible rage. She was trying 
to tear her clothing from her. I also found quite a number of 
Saints present, and some unbelievers, who had come to see the 
devil cast out and a miracle wrought. 

"Had I acted upon my own judgment I should have refrained 
from administering to her in the company of those present; but 
as I was a stranger there, and Brother Clayton presided over the 
branch, I joined with him in administering to the woman. The 
unbelief of the wicked who were present was so great that we could 
not cast the devil out of her, and she raged worse than ever ; I then 
ordered the room to be cleared, and when the company, except the 
few attending her, had left the house, we laid hands upon her head, 
and in the name of Jesus Christ I commanded the devil to come 
out of her. The devil left, and she was entirely healed and fell 

"The next day being the Sabbath, the woman came before a 
large congregation of people, and bore testimony to what the Lord 
had done for her. We had a large assembly through the day and 
evening, to whom I preached the gospel. On Monday morning, 
the devil, not being satisfied with being cast out of the woman', 
entered into her little child, which was but a few months old. I 
was called upon to visit the child, and found it in great distress, 
writhing in its mother's arms. We laid hands upon it and cast the 
devil out ; the evil spirits thereafter had no power over that house- 
hold. This was done by the power of God, and not of man. We 
laid hands upon twenty in Manchester who were sick, and most of 
them were healed. 

"On January 21st, I arrived in Burslem by coach, and for the 
first time met Elder Alfred Cordon. This being my field of labor, 
I began my work there. Elder Turley stopped in the Pottery dis- 
trict some eight days, then went to Birmingham, his field of labor. 
On the 10th of February I received a letter from Elder John Tay- 
lor, who was at Liverpool, saying they had commenced there, and 
had baptized ten persons. 

"I labored in the Staffordshire Potteries, in Burslem, Han- 


ley, Stoke, Lane End, and several other villages, from the 22nd 
of. January until the 2nd of March, preaching every night in the 
week and two or three times on the Sabbath. I baptized, con- 
firmed and blessed many, and we had a good field open for labor. 
Many were believing, and it appeared as though we had a door 
open to bring into the Church many in that part of the vineyard. 

"March 1st, 1840, was my birthday; I was thirty-three years 
of age. It being Sunday, I preached twice during the day to a 
large assembly in the city hall, in the town of Hanley, and admin- 
istered the Sacrament to the Saints. In the evening I again met 
with a large assembly of the Saints and strangers, and while sing- 
ing the first hymn the spirit of the Lord rested upon me and the 
voice of God said to me, 'This is the last meeting that you will hold 
with this people for many days/ I was astonished at this, as I 
had many appointments out in that district. When. I arose to 
speak to the people, I told them that it was the last meeting I should 
hold with them for many days. They were as much astonished as 
I was. At the close of the meeting four persons came forward for 
baptism; we went down_into the water and baptized them. 

"In the morning I went in secret before the Lord, and asked 
Him what was His will concerning me. The answer I received 
was that I should go to the south ; for the Lord had a great work 
for me to perform there, as many souls were waiting for His 
word. On the 3rd of March, 1840, in fulfillment of the directions 
given me, I took coach and rode to Wolverhampton, twenty-six 
miles, spending the night there. On the morning of the 4th I 
again took coach, and rode through Dudley, Stourbridge, Stour- 
port, and Worcester, then walked a number of miles to Mr. John 
Benbow's, Hill Farm, Castle Frome, Ledbury, Herefordshire. This 
was a farming country in the south of England, a region where no 
elder of the Latter-day Saints had visited. 

"I found Mr. Benbow to be a wealthy farmer, cultivating 
three hundred acres of land, occupying a good mansion, and hav 
ing plenty of means. His wife, Jane, had no children.* I presented 
myself to him as a missionary from America, an elder of the 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who had been sent to 
him by the commandment of God as a messenger of salvation, to 
preach the gospel of life to him and his household and the inhab- 


itants of the land. He and his wife received me with glad hearts 
and thanksgiving. It was in the evening when I arrived, having 
traveled forty-eight miles by coach and on foot during the day, 
but after receiving refreshments we sat down together, and con- 
versed until two o'clock in the morning. Mr. Benbow and his 
wife rejoiced greatly at the glad tidings which I brought them. 

"I also rejoiced greatly at the news Mr. Benbow gave me, 
that there was a company of men and women — over six hundred 
in number — who had broken off from the Wesleyan Methodists, 
and taken the name of United Brethren. They had forty-five 
preachers among them, and for religious services had chapels 
and many houses that were licensed according to the law of the 
land. This body of United Brethren were searching for light and 
truth, but had gone as far as they could, and were calling upon 
the Lord continually to open the way before them and send them 
light and knowledge, that they might know the true way to be 
saved. When I heard these things I could clearly see why the 
Lord had commanded me, while in the town of Hanley, to leave 
that place of labor and go to the south ; for in Herefordshire there 
was a great harvest-field for gathering many saints into the 
Kingdom of God. After offering my prayers and thanksgiving to 
God, I retired to my bed with joy, and slept well until the rising 
of the sun. 

"I arose on the morning of the 5th, took breakfast, and told 
Mr. Benbow I would like to commence my Master's business by 
preaching the gospel to the people. He had in his mansion a 
large hall which was licensed for preaching, and he sent word 
through the neighborhood that an American missionary would 
preach at his house that evening. As the time drew nigh, many 
of the neighbors came in, and I preached my first gospel sermon 
in the house. I also preached at the same place on the following 
evening, and baptized six persons, including Mr. John Benbow, 
his wife, and four preachers of the United Brethren. I spent most 
of the following day in clearing out a pool of water and preparing 
it for baptizing, as I saw that many would receive that ordinance. 
I afterwards baptized six hundred persons in that pool of water. 

"On Sunday, the 8th, I preached at Frome's Hill in the morn- 
ing, at Standley Hill in the afternoon, and at John Benbow's, Hill 


Farm, in the evening. The parish church that stood in the neigh- 
borhood of Brother Benbow's, presided over by the rector of the 
parish, was attended during the day by only fifteen persons, while 
I had a large congregation, estimated to number a thousand, at- 
tend my meetings through the day and evening. 

"When I arose to speak at Brother Benbow's house, a man 
entered the door and informed me that he was a constable, and had 
been sent by the rector of the parish with a warrant to arrest me. 
I asked him, 'For what crime ?' He said, Tor preaching to the 
people/ I told him that I, as well as the rector, had a license for 
preaching the gospel to the people, and that if he would take a 
chair I would wait upon him after meeting. He took my chair 
and sat beside me. For an hour and a quarter I preached the first 
principles of the everlasting gospel. The power of God rested 
upon me, the spirit filled the house, and the people were convinced. 
At the close of the meeting I opened the door for baptism, and sev- 
en offered themselves. Among the number were four preachers and 
the constable. The latter arose and said, 'Mr. Woodruff, I would 
like to be baptized.' I told him I would like to baptize him. I 
went down into the pool and baptized the seven. We then came 
together. I confirmed thirteen, administered the Sacrament, and 
we all rejoiced together. 

"The constable went to the rector and told him that if he 
wanted Mr. Woodruff taken for preaching the gospel, he must 
go himself and serve the writ; for he had heard him preach the 
only true gospel sermon he had ever listened to in his life. The 
rector did not know what to make of it, so he sent two clerks of 
the Church of England as spies, to attend our meeting, and find 
out what we did preach. They both were pricked in their hearts, 
received the word of the Lord gladly, and were baptized and con- 
firmed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day 
Saints. The rector became alarmed, and did not venture to send 
anybody else. 

"The ministers and rectors of the south of England called a 
convention and sent a petition to the Archbishop of Canterbury, 
to request Parliament to pass a law prohibiting the Mormons from 
preaching in the British dominions. In this petition the rectors 
stated that one Mormon missionary had baptized fifteen hundred 


persons, mostly members of the English Church, during the past 
seven months. But the Archbishop and council, knowing well that 
the laws of England afforded toleration to all religions under th a 
British flag, sent word to the petitioners that if they had the worth 
of souls at heart as much as they valued ground where hares,foxes, 
and hounds ran, they would not lose so many of their flock. 

"I continued to preach and baptize daily. On the 21st day 
of March I baptized Elder Thomas Kington. He was superin- 
tendent of -both preachers and members of the United Brethren. 
The first thirty days after my arrival in Herefordshire, I had bap- 
tized forty-five preachers and one hundred and sixty members of 
the United Brethren, who put into my hands one chapel and forty- 
five houses, which were licensed according to law to preach in. 
This opened a wide field for labor, and enabled me to bring into 
the Church, through the blessings of God, over eighteen hundred 
souls during eight months, including all of the six hundred Unit- 
ed Brethren except one person. In this number there were also 
some two hundred preachers of various denominations. This field 
of labor embraced Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, and Worces- 
tershire, and formed the conferences of Garway, Gadfield Elm, and 
Frome's Hill. During this time I was visited by President Young 
and Dr. -Richards." 

On the 14th of April, 1840, Elder Woodruff records the or- 
dination of Willard Richards to the apostleship. Two days later 
the Twelve, in council, voted to publish a Church periodical in 
Great Britain. Eider Woodruff proposed that it be called the 
Millennial Star, and it was so named. 

"Brother John Benbow furnished us with £300 to print the 
first edition of the Book of Mormon that was published in Eng- 
land/' wrote Elder Woodruff; "and on the 20th of May, 1840, 
Brigham Young, Willard Richards, and I held a council on top 
of Malvern Hill, and there decided that Brigham Young should 
go direct to Manchester and publish three thousand copies of 
the Book of Mormon and the Hymn Book. 

"The power of God rested upon us and upon the mission," 
said Elder Woodruff, in our field of labor in Herefordshire, Wor- 
cestershire, and Gloucestershire. "The sick were healed, devils 
were cast out, and the lame made to walk. One case I will men- 


tion: Mary Pitt, who died later in Nauvoo, sister of William 
Pitt, who died years after in Salt Lake City, had not walked 
upon her feet for eleven years. We carried her into the water, 
and I baptized her. On the evening of the 18th of May, 1840, 
at Brother Kington's house in Dymock, Elders Brigham Young, 
Willard Richards, and I laid hands upon her head and confirmed 
her. Brigham Young being mouth, rebuked her lameness in the 
name of the Lord, and commanded her to arise and walk. The 
lameness left her, and she never afterwards used a staff or crutch. 
She walked through the town of Dymock next day, and created a 
stir among the people thereby; but the wicked did not feel to 
give God the glory. 

"The whole history of this Herefordshire mission shows the 
importance of listening to the still small voice of the spirit of 
God, and the revelations of the Holy Ghost. The people were pray- 
ing for light and truth, and the Lord sent me to them. I declared 
the gospel of life and salvation, some eighteen hundred souls re- 
ceived it, and many of them have been gathered to Zion in these 
mountains. Many of them have also been called to officiate in 
the bishopric, and have done much good in Zion. In all these 
things we should ever acknowledge the hand of God, and give 
Him the honor, praise, and glory, forever and ever. Amen. 

"On the 11th of August, 1840, I took the parting hand of the 
Saints in Herefordshire, and started on a mission to London, in 
company with Apostles Heber C. Kimball and George A. Smith. 
We rode from Leigh to Cheltenham, where we tarried for the 
night, and in the morning took coach and rode forty miles through 
a most delightful country, which everywhere wore the golden 
hue of a plentiful harvest. We passed through Oxfordshire, in 
sight of Stowe, the family residence of the Duke of Buckingham, 
and at Farmington station took train for London, where we ar- 
rived at 4 p. m. We changed conveyances and went to the center of 
the city by omnibus, walked across London Bridge into the Bor- 
ough, and called upon Mrs. Allgood, the sister of Elder Theodore 
Turley's wife. She treated us with kindness, gave us refresh- 
ments, and then directed us to a public house, the King's Arms, 
King Street, Borough. There we tarried for the night. 

"We were now in England's great metropolis, to sound there- 


in the first proclamation of the latter-day work. Heber C. Kim- 
ball, George A. Smith, and myself were the first three elders in 
London to preach the gospel and establish the Church of Latter- 
day Saints. We took a walk into the city, passed London Bridge 
twice, and returned and spent the night at King's Arms. On 
the following day we called upon the Rev. J. E. Smith, Lincoln's 
Inn Fields, also visited John Pye, 16 Curiosity Street, Chancery 
Lane. He was a strong believer in the prophecies of Joanna 
Southcott, and was one of the society. We then returned and 
had a view of St. Paul's Cathedral, the largest in the world ex- 
cept St. Peter's at Rome. We crossed London Bridge, took tea 
at 19 King Street, then went to Union Chapel, Waterloo Road, 
and heard a comical sermon delivered by an Aitkenite preacher. 
I spent the night at 58 King Street, at Mrs. Loftus.' 

"The next day, August 21st, was the most interesting sight- 
seeing day in my life. I started in company with Elders Heber C. 
Kimball and George A. Smith for a walk over the city of Lon- 
don. We crossed London Bridge, passed through King William 
Street and several other streets, and visited Covent Garden ; then 
through St. Martin Street and Court, Leicester Square, Sidney 
Alley, Coventry Street, Picadilly, Glass House Street, and 
through most of Regent Street — one of the most splendid streets 
in the world. We passed through Langham Place and All Souls' 
Church — which has a spire naked from its base to the top: — then 
through Oxford Street, and returned by way of St. Paul's, end- 
ing our sight-seeing of the day by visiting the noted monument 
erected in commemoration of the great fire in London in 1666, 
and built under the direction of that famous architect, Sir Chris- 
topher Wren. We entered a door at its base, paid sixpence on 
entering, and ascended three hundred and forty-five black mar- 
ble steps, which brought us up two hundred feet into the air, 
and about one hundred feet higher than the highest houses. We 
stepped on the outside of the pillar, which is surrounded by an 
iron railing, and there was presented to our view on every hand 
the wonderful scenery of the greatest city in the world, a city 
that boasted of a history covering nearly two thousand years. At 
our feet, as it were, lay a historical panorama, stretching out to 
our view in all directions. 


"We were located so as to overlook nearly every part of 
the city. East of us lay the ancient Tower of London ; east of us 
also lay the Mint; north the Mansion House of the Lord Mayor 
of London; northwest, St. Paul's Church; west, Westminster 
Abbey and the House of Parliament ; south lies the river Thames, 
with five of the large bridges across in full view, and one not seen 
from the monument, making six. These six bridges are fine 
sights in themselves. They are the architectural monuments of 
the Thames, and our view of them from our high pinnacle, with 
their crowds of moving and everchanging human masses, and 
cabs, omnibuses, carriages, drays, etc., which dash along, pre- 
sented to us a picturesque sight. In addition to all this, within our 
view was London Borough, on the south of the river, and all 
around .us hundreds of churches, chapels and spires, standing in 
the midst of one universal mass of buildings, covering six square 
miles of ground. While viewing this prospect on a clear day, we 
conversed with a Prussian traveler, a citizen of Berlin, who had 
traveled much over Europe and Asia and other parts of the world, 
and he declared that there was not, to his knowledge, another spot 
on the face of the earth that presented to view such a grand scene 
as that before us. 

"August 23rd we went to Zion's chapel and heard the cele- 
brated Rev. Robert Aitken preach two sermons. He delivered 
a powerful warning to the Gentiles, and presented some of the. 
most sublime truths I ever heard from a sectarian priest; but he 
was building without the foundation. On the 24th we removed 
our lodgings to Mr. Robert Merryfield's, No. 15 Gloucester Row, 
Grange Road, where we obtained a room for all three of us. 

"On the 25th of August we attended a meeting of the Tem- 
perance Society, at their hall, which we secured for the 7th of 
the next month. Brother Smith made a short speech. On the fol- 
lowing day we started out in quest of places in which we might 
preach. Brother Kimball went to one part of the city and Brother 
Smith and myself to another. We called upon two Baptist min- 
isters and asked one for his chapel. In the evening we attended 
a Methodist meeting in Long Lane. 

"Next day we again went to the Temperance Hall, in St. 
George's Road, near the Elephant and Castle, and by the request 


of the committee I addressed the meeting upon the subject of 
temperance. I was followed by George A. Smith. We gave out 
an appointment to preach the gospel at that place September 7th. 

"The day after, we all started to go through the city of Lon- 
don to see if we could find a man with the spirit of God ; and after 
wandering through the city, not knowing whither we went, we 
came upon a man whom we stopped, and to whom we spoke. 
Brother Kimball asked him if he was a preacher. He said he was. 
He seemed to have a good spirit, and informed us that he had 
been in America, and had come to London for the purpose of go- 
ing to South Australia, but had just buried one child and another 
lay at the point of death. Brother Kimball told him his child 
should live. He gave us some information where we could preach. 
On the same day we called upon him and found his child better, 
but he was not at home. We then went and heard a Calvinist 
preach, and he gave us an invitation to call and see him. Next 
day we again went over the city to see if we could find any of the 
children of God. We found one man and his household who re- 
ceived our testimony, and he opened his doors for us to preach. 
We appointed a meeting at his house for Sunday evening. His 
name was Corner, and he lived at 52 Ironmonger Row, St. Luke's 
Parish, near the church. 

"We had spent twelve days in going to and fro through Lon- 
don, trying to find a people willing to receive our testimony ; but 
finding the doors shut against us, we determined to go into the 
streets and lift up our voices in the name of God. Accordingly, 
Elders Kimball, Smith, and myself started on Sunday morning, 
August 30, walked three miles, and stopped in Tabernacle Square, 
Old Street, where we found an Aitkenite preaching to the people. 
He was followed by a Presbyterian. Just as the latter was about 
to begin, Elder Kimball informed him that there was a preacher 
from America present who would like to speak when he got 
through. The preacher then informed the people that there was 
an American minister present, and proposed that he should speak 
first. Elder George A. Smith got into the chair and spoke about 
twenty minutes; then the Presbyterian spoke. George A. had 
informed the people that there were two other American preach- 
ers present who would like to address them, and, when the Pres- 


byterian closed, Elder Kimball asked him if there would be any 
objection to our preaching there at 3 o'clock. He answered, 'No, 
not at all. To what denomination do you belong?' 'To the 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,' was the reply. 'Oh, 
I have heard of them/ he said ; 'they are a bad people ; they have; 
done much hurt; they divide churches; we don't want to hear 
you.' He then mounted the chair again and said to the people: 
'I have just heard that the last man who spoke belongs to the 
Latter-day Saints/ and he began to rail against us. Elder Kim- 
ball asked him to let him step into the chair to give out an ap- 
pointment for a 3 o'clock meeting, but he would not. Brother 
Kimball then raised his voice and informed the people that some 
American preachers would speak there at 3 o'clock. 

"At the appointed time we were at the place. The conduct 
of the preacher and the excitement upon the subject brought a 
large congregation to hear us. I opened the meeting by singing 
and prayer, and spoke about twenty minutes, from Gal. i : 8 and 9, 
and was followed by Elder Kimball, for about the same length of 
time. The people gave good attention and seemed to be much 
interested in what they heard. 

"After meeting, Mr. Corner invited us home ; but soon after 
we arrived at his house Elder Kimball felt impressed to return to 
the place where we had preached. When he got there he found 
a large company talking about the things which they had heard, 
and they wished him to speak to them again. He did so, and ad- 
dressed them at considerable length, and afterwards several in- 
vited him home to their houses. While he was away, a man who 
had been a preacher came to Mr. Corner's ; I gave him a brief ac- 
count of the great work of God in the last days, and he and the 
others who were listening received the things which I spoke unto 
them. Mr. Corner offered himself for baptism; he was the first 
man in London to do so. We appointed the next evening as the 
time to administer the ordinance of baptism to him. After supping 
with him, we returned home. I was weary and ill during the 
night, but felt thankful unto the Lord for the privilege of preach- 
ing to the inhabitants of that great city, and of having gained one 
soul as a seal to our ministry. 

"On the 31st of August we reaped the first fruits of our 


labors, and laid the first living stone of the Church of Jesus Christ 
in England's great metropolis. We walked into the city and called 
upon Mr. Corner, who went forward with us to the public baths, 
and received the initiatory ordinance of the gospel. Returning to 
the house of Brother Corner, Elders Kimball, Smith, and myself 
laid our hands upon his head and confirmed him a member of the 
Church. We returned to our homes that night, thankful to God 
for His goodness in blessing our labors even thus much. 

"On the 2nd of September I was quite ill. I had not been 
well for several days, but now I was obliged to keep in my room. 
Elders Kimball and Smith went into the city to visit the people, 
and found some who hearkened favorably to them. By this time 
we had learned that London was the hardest place for a mission 
that we had ever undertaken; but we did not feel discouraged 
in the least, and were determined in the name of the Lord to set 
up the standard of Christ's Kingdom in that city. The following 
day I was still confined to my room most of the time, but on the 
next, Elders Kimball and Smith went to Debtford, and I took 
a walk into the city, called upon Brother Corner, and found him 
in good spirits. I also called upon Mr. Panther, 17 Warf, City 
Road, Basin, who was a director of a Methodist chapel ; I asked 
him for the chapel to preach in. He said he had a schoolhouse 
which would hold two hundred persons, and I might have that on 
Sunday, so I gave out an appointment at Bowl Court, 137 Shore- 
ditch. I conversed with several others who received my testimony, 
and one woman said she would be baptized. 

"Next day I wrote to Elder Browett of my Herefordshire 
field of labor, walked to Brother Corner's and visited several other 
friends. Two offered themselves for baptism. I visited St. Paul's, 
then returned home. Elders Kimball and Smith had just returned 
from a visit to the Rev. Robert Aitken. He received them kindly, 
acknowledged their doctrine to be true, but was afraid of decep- 
tion. His mind was in a disturbed condition. In the evening we 
held a meeting in the Temperance Hall; but we had almost the 
bare walls to preach to, there being only about thirty present. I 
preached to those for about an hour, and Elder Kimball followed 
me. After paying seven shillings and sixpence for the use of the 
hall, we returned to our lodgings. 


"On September 9th I paid my bills, called upon friends in 
company with Brothers Kimball and Smith, and on the day follow- 
ing I parted from the brethren and friends in London to return 
to Herefordshire. We had spent twenty-three days in the great 
Babylon of modern times, and had found it harder to establish 
the Church there than in any other place we had ever been. We 
had baptized one man, and ordained him a priest ; six others had 
given in their names to be baptized on the following Sunday ; and 
at this time there was some little prospect of the Rev. Robert 
Aitken receiving the work. I therefore left London, feeling that 
our mission and labors had not been altogether in vain. 

"I was rejoiced on my return to the churches to find tha*t in 
Herefordshire the work was rapidly progressing. In some cases 
it was even reaching the nobility, and a lady of title had become 
convinced, through our ministry, of the work of God. Lady Rob- 
erts was of the nobility of England, and a lady of wealth ; she had 
withdrawn from the Church of England and had traveled much 
in search of truth, looking for the fulfillment of the prophets. She 
became acquainted with the fulness of the gospel through a fe- 
male servant in the employ of Squire Dowdswell, and began to 
investigate the subject. The spirit of God rested upon her and 
convinced her of the truth of the work. She obtained the four 
published numbers of the Millennial Star, and, fearing that she 
would not be able to obtain them for herself, copied the whole of 
them with her pen. She also read the Book of Mormon and copied 
a part of that, and became perfectly convinced of the truth of the 
work of which she read; she said she would go a thousand miles 
if necessary to see some of the Twelve and be baptized under their 
hands. Hearing that I was in London, she was about to take a 
journey there to see me and the other brethren, and be baptized. 
She had two brothers who were ministers of the Church of Eng- 

"On the 21st of September, 1840, we held the Frome's Hill 
conference, at which were represented 24 churches with 754 mem- 
bers, 14 elders, 51 priests, 9 teachers, and 1 deacon. The Bran 
Green and Frome's Hill conferences were now composed of 40 
churches, 1007 members, 19 elders, 78 priests, 15 teachers, and 
1 deacon. These two conferences, with their forty branch churches 


and over a thousand organized members, under the direction of 
one hundred and thirteen ordained officers, had been raised up 
within six and one-half months. Surely the work of God had 
been marvelous — unparalleled perhaps in the history of any new 
religious movement. 

"I meditated upon these things, and in my journal of Septem- 
ber 21st, 1840, I wrote thus : 'This has been a busy day with me. 
After standing upon my feet from morning till evening, I am 
called to shake hands with hundreds of Saints who have glad 
hearts and cheerful countenances. It is with no ordinary feelings 
that I meditate upon the cheering fact that a thousand souls have 
been Baptized into the new and everlasting covenant in about half 
a year, in one field which God has enabled me to open. I pray 
Him to accept the gratitude of my heart for His mercies and bless- 
ings unto me in this thing, and to enable me to stand with these 
Saints and all the righteous in His celestial kingdom.' This day 
I stood upon my feet eight hours in conference, conversed much of 
the time in suggesting, speaking, etc. ; ordained about thirty, con- 
firmed some, healed many who were sick, shook hands with about 
four hundred Saints, walked two miles, and ended with about four 
hours chimney-corner preaching. I then lay down to rest, and 
dreamed of catching fish. 

"The church ministers in this region were stirred up very 
much at this time, because of the success of the work of God in 
the midst of the people, and every exertion was made by them 
to stay its progress. They were finding that the Lord was deliv- 
ering their flocks out of their hands and giving them unto the 
shepherds of the Church of the Saints. They were alarmed, and 
were holding conventions and meetings to contrive plans and adopt 
means to overthrow the latter-day work of God, which they un- 
derstood not, and believed not, yet feared its power. And well 
indeed they might ; for in some instances they did not have more 
than ten or fifteen at their churches on the Sabbath, while around 
them on every hand they had seen forty branches of two organ- 
ized conferences of the Church of Latter-day Saints spring up in 
about six months, with over a thousand members and between 
one and two hundred officers ordained to scatter the seed of the 
gospel everywhere in this prolific field. 


"On the 25th of September I again took leave of the Saints 
in my Herefordshire field of labor, to attend the Staffordshire con- 
ference which was held at Hanley. The day after the conference 
I baptized one, and preached at Tunstell ; and on the next evening 
I preached at Burslem to a crowded house. The power of God 
rested upon me, and great solemnity pervaded the congregation. 
The spirit of God was moving the people, and they felt that the 
Lord was doing a work in their midst. 


Rapid Increase of the Church in Great Britain. — Mysterious Spirit Per- 
sonage Attempts to Strangle Wilford Woodruff, and Wounds Him 
Severely. — He Is Relieved and Healed by Three Heavenly Visit- 
ors. — First Placard of the Church Posted in London. — Death of 
Wilford's Daughter. — Difficult Missionary Work in and around 
London. — Arrival of Lorenzo Snow To Take Charge of the British 
Mission. — All of the Twelve Called Home. — Attending Various Con- 
ferences. — Springing of the Spaulding Story. — Wilford Bids Fare- 
well to the Saints in Fields Where He Had Labored. — General Con- 
ference of the British Mission, and Only Occasion of the Twelve 
Apostles Acting as a Quorum in a Foreign Land. — Wilford's De- 
parture for Home, and Arrival at Nauvoo. — Made a Member of the 
*Nauvoo City Council. 

A general conference of the British Mission was held at 
Manchester, England, on the 6th of October, 1840, at which 
there were present six of the Twelve Apostles — Brigham Young, 
Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, Orson Pratt, George A. 
Smith, and Wilford Woodruff. Tht presiding officers in the 
mission represented twenty-seven conferences, besides other 
churches or branches not yet included in organized conferences. 
The Church membership in Great Britain was given as 3,621, 
being an increase of 1,113 members since the conference held the 
April previous. On the evening of October 7th, the first dis- 
cussion of any note of Mormonism, held in Great Britain, took 
place at Manchester, between Elder Alfred Cordon and a min- 
ister of one of the denominations whom Elder Woodruff does 
not name. It was attended by the members of the Twelve then 
in England. The subject under discussion was the Book of 
Mormon; and although the view of the Latter-day Saints was 
upheld therein by an elder of less prominence than one of the 
Apostles, the result evidently was very satisfactory to the Saints, 
and their cause received further favorable impression in the 
minds of a great majority of the fifteen hundred persons present 
on the occasion. 

"I left Manchester on the 14th of October," writes Wilford 



Woodruff, "to return to my labors in London; and on my way, 
with Elder Alfred Cordon, I visited the Staffordshire Potteries 
and Birmingham. On the 17th I arrived in London, where I 
found Elder George A. Smith, and we were glad to meet each 
other again. We hired lodgings, board, and sitting-room at No. 
40 Ironmonger Row, St. Luke's. Everything was costly, and we 
found that with the greatest economy we could not do with much 
less than a pound per week each. What few Saints there were in 
London were very poor, and unable to assist us. Most of the 
means used in my labors in London was supplied by my converts 
in Herefordshire. 

"The prospect in London at that time was the darkest it had 
ever been in since entering the vineyard; but the Lord was with 
us, and we were not discouraged. On Sunday we met with the 
Saints three times at Brother Corner's, read the Book of Mormon, 
gave instruction, and broke bread unto them. We had a good 
time, though there were only about half a dozen present. I felt 
the spirit bear testimony that there would be a work done in 

"Having retired to rest in good season, I fell asleep and 
slept until midnight, when I awoke and meditated upon the 
things of God until 3 o'clock in the morning; and, while forming 
a determination to warn the people in London and by the as- 
sistance and inspiration of God to overcome the power of dark- 
ness, a person appeared to me, whom I consider was the prince of 
darkness. He made war upon me, and attempted to take my life. 
As he was about to overcome me I prayed to the Father, 
in the name of Jesus Christ, for help. I then had power over 
him and he left me, though I was much wounded. Afterwards 
three persons dressed in white came to me and prayed with me, 
and I was healed immediately of all my wounds, and delivered of 
all my troubles. 

"During the following week we visited the British Museum 
and other notable places, also attended a Wesleyan mission 
meeting over which the Lord Mayor of London presided. While 
in the performance of our missionary labors we- circulated and 
posted handbills. The following is a copy of the first placard of 
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints posted in Eng- 
land's great metropolis : ' "He that judgeth a matter before he 

British mission, i840-'4i. iM 

heareth it is not wise." The Latter-day Saints meet for public 
worship at Mr. J. Barrett's Academy, 57 King's Square, Gos- 
well Road (entrance door in President Street) every Sabbath 
at 3, and half-past 6 o'clock p. m. ; also on Tuesday and Thursday 
evenings each week, at 8 o'clock. Lectures will be delivered by 
Elders Woodruff and Smith (late from America), who respect- 
fully invite the citizens of London to attend. The first prin- 
ciples of the Everlasting Gospel in its fulness; the gathering of 
Israel; the second coming of the Savior; and "the restitution 
of all things" spoken of by all the holy prophets, will be among 
the subjects discussed. The Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star, 
published monthly, and other publications, can be had at 52 
Ironmonger Row, St. Luke's. (City Press, Long Lane, Doudney 
& Scryngour.)' 

"The following Sunday, at 3 o'clock, we preached for the 
first time in Barrett's Academy. There were present about fify 
persons to whom I preached, and to whom Elder Smith preached 
in the evening; but it was the most difficult task I had ever 
found to awaken in the people an interest on the subject. There 
was so much going on in this great modern Babylon to draw 
the attention of the people, that it seemed to require almost the 
trumpet blast from heaven to awaken the attention of the inhabi- 
tants to our proclamation of the restortaion of the fulness of the 
gospel. We were there like the apostles of old, witliout purse 
or scrip, to warn the city of London, where we had to pay high 
prices for everything we required, and to pay for a place to 
preach in; we were at this time about out of money, but still we 
felt to trust in God. Next day after this meeting, 1 received a 
package of letters from America, one from my wife announcing 
the death of my little daughter Sarah Emma. 

"November 1st I preached at the Academy in the after- 
noon to about thirty, and in the evening to about fifty. We 
broke bread unto the Saints, and this evening there seemed to 
be some interest manifested by inquiry about the work. We 
preached again on the following Sunday. During the week we 
received counsel from our brethren of the Twelve for George 
A. Smith to go immediately to the Potteries, and spend his time 
with the churches there. After his departure I felt very lonely 
for several days, but Elder William Pitt came from Dymock 


and labored with me a short time, after which he took a mission 
to Ipswich. 

"Brother Hulme, a captain of one of the 'Pickford's Boats' 
on the London Canal, was present at my next preaching after the 
departure of Elder Pitt, and with him were two of his hands 
whom he had baptized. On the following day I dined with 
him and with the two brethren on board their boat. 

"On the afternoon and evening of Sunday, the 22nd of Oc- 
tober, I held a public meeting at the Academy, when four offered 
themselves for baptism ; and on the following Sunday I again 
preached twice, and baptized three more applicants. These were 
the first fruits of my labors in London. Next day I took a very 
interesting walk with Dr. Wm. Copeland, through every part of 
the College of Surgeons at Lincoln's Inn Fields, and on my re- 
turn home was joined by Elders Brigham Young and Heber C. 
Kimball, who had come to spend a week or two in London. This 
was the first time President Brigham Young was in the metropolis 
of England. We met for service on Wednesday evening, at the 
Academy, when Brother Brigham preached, followed by Brother 
Heber. We had a good time. 

"In company with Presidents Young and Kimball, on the 3rd 
of December, I visited the Tower of London, without seeing 
which, the traveler would lose a capital page in the history of his 
travels in Europe. During the week we also visited St. Paul's, 
Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the Queen's stables, and 
many other noted sights of London. 

"Sunday we held a public meeting at the Academy, at which 
there were about fifty present. Brother Kimball preached. An 
Independent minister invited me home to take tea with him. I 
accepted his invitation, had an interesting time, and preached the 
gospel to him. He received my testimony and offered me his 
chapel, which held eight hundred people. He said he thought he 
would be baptized, and would try and get his society to do the 
same. We met again in the evening, and had more at our meet- 
ing than ever before. Brother Brigham Young preached, and 
was followed by Brothers Kimball, Williams, Corner, Hulme, 
and myself. We had a very interesting time, and one person 
offered himself for baptism. There were present some of the 
Aitkenites, one of whom purchased a hymn book. # They wished 

BRITISH MISSION, 1840-'41. 133 

us to call upon them, and thought they would be baptized. We 
then met at Father Corner's, and communed with the Saints and 
had a good time. I rejoiced at the prospect which was opening 
before us, for we had labored a long time and the work had gone 
slow ; but now a wide opening was being made to roll on the work 
of the Lord in the metropolis of England. 

"Having spent about ten days in London, President Young 
left for Cheltenham. On the same day I visited Mr. James Albion, 
a minister of the Independent order, who, with his household, be- 
lieved our doctrine, and on the Sunday we found more than ever 
an interest being awakened in London; our prayer meeting the 
next evening was attended by the Reverend James Albion, who 
received our testimony. We walked home with him, and found 
his household growing in the faith and ready for the work of the 

"Two days after, in the evening, we baptized four persons- 
Mr. and Mrs. Morgan, with whom we lodged, Christopher Smith, 
their apprentice, and Henry Corner, Jun. Dr. Copeland spent the 
afternoon of the following day with us ; he received our testimony, 
and in the evening we preached at our meeting place. 

"I visited Rev. James Albion several times, and gave him an 
account of the rise and progress of the Church of Jesus Christ 
of Latter-day Saints. He believed in our mission and offered me 
his chapel, which would seat about a thousand persons. On Sun- 
day morning we accompanied our reverend friend and convert to 
his chapel, and were introduced to the committee, one of whom 
was a preacher who had traveled much in Russia and other parts 
of the world. At the close of the meeting the Rev. James Albion 
gave out an appointment for us to preach on the next Sabbath eve- 
ning. In the afternoon we met with the Saints, had a full house, 
and confirmed four new members; in the evening we preached 
again, and a good feeling prevailed. After meeting, the Rev. 
James Albion called upon us at our room and told us that he had 
given out our appointment to preach in his chapel ; he also had in- 
formed his congregation that he was a Latter-day Saint, and 
would be baptized and join our Church, and that they need not 
longer consider him a member of their body unless they joined 
the Saints with him. He told us this made a division among the 


committee ; some were for going with him, and some were against 
following their pastor into the true fold, which he had found. 

"On the following Sunday evening we preached, by the ap- 
pointment of its minister, in the Independent chapel, to the largest 
congregation we had ever before addressed in London. There 
were present priests and people of many denominations. I ad- 
dressed them for the space of about one hour. A Wesleyan min- 
ister arose and opposed me ; this had a good effect, for the congre- 
gation, seeing the spirit he was of, turned against him, and the 
committee refused him permission to speak there again. I was 
much bound by the opposing spirit ; still the conduct of the enemy 
gave us friends. The next evening we attended what was said to 
be the largest temperance meeting ever held in London ; and the 
next two days brought us to the close of the year. 

"I give here a synopsis of my travels and labors in 1840: 
places visited or labored in — Liverpool, Preston, Manchester, 
Newcastle, Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Stoke, Longton, Stafford, 
Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Worcester, Hereford, Ledbury, 
Malvern Hill, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Oxford, London. I trav- 
eled 4,469 miles, held 230 meetings, established 53 places for 
preaching, and planted 47 churches and jointly organized them. 
These churches chiefly comprised the two conferences raised up in 
Herefordshire, consisting of about 1,500 Saints, 28 elders, 110 
priests, 24 teachers, and 10 deacons. The baptisms of the year 
were 336 persons under my own hands, and I assisted at the bap- 
tism of 86 others. I baptized 57 preachers, mostly those connected 
with the United Brethren, also two clerks of the Church of Eng- 
land. I confirmed 420 members, and assisted in confirming 50 
others ; ordained 18 elders, 97 priests, 34 teachers, and one deacon ; 
blessed 120 children, and administered to 120 sick, by prayer, 
anointing and the laying on of hands, and in many instances the 
sick were healed, and devils cast out. I assisted in procuring £1,000 
for the publication of 3,000 copies of the Hymn Book, 5,000 copies 
of the Book of Mormon, for the printing of the Millennial Star, 
and to assist 200 Saints to emigrate to Nauvoo. I wrote 200 let- 
ters, and received 112. 

"The new year, 1841," continues Wilford Woodruff, "found 
Elder Kimball and myself in the metropolis of England, in the en- 

BRITISH MISSION, 1840-'41. 135 

joyment of good health. We celebrated New Year's day by bap- 
tizing two persons into the fold of Christ. The Church in Lon- 
don now numbered 21 members. The next Sunday we held a meet- 
ing in the Academy, confirmed two, and partook of the Sacrament. 
During the week I baptized the daughter of the Rev. James Al- 
bion; the day after this, Elder Kimball started for Woolwich to 
break new ground. On Sunday he preached there for the first 
time, when four persons offered themselves for baptism. Next day 
they came to London, and we immediately repaired to our private 
bath in Tabernacle Square, where Elder Kimball baptized five per- 
sons, one of whom was Br. Wm. Copeland. This was indeed an 
interesting occasion, and we felt thankful to God to see the cloud 
beginning to break; for we had struggled hard to do the little 
which had been done. 

"On the 15th of the month we baptized three more of Brother 
Morgan's household, and on the following Sunday I preached to a 
full house and to many new hearers. Several offered themselves 
for baptism; during the week there had been seven souls added 
to the Church. 

"Next day Elder Kimball received a letter from President 
Young, who wished us to be ready early in April to set sail for 
home. Several days later, I baptized the Rev. James Albion and 
Mr. Hender, and before the close of January I baptized three oth- 
ers into the Church. I visited Greenwich and Woodwich, where 
Elder Kimball had raised up a small branch of the Church, then 
I returned to London with Elder Kimball. On Sunday we com- 
muned with the Saints, and in the evening we both preached to a 
large congregation. 

"On the 8th of February, having a package of twenty Books 
of Mormon and two dozen Hymn Books, Heber C. Kimball and I 
went to Stationer's Hall and secured the copyright of the Book of 
Mormon in the name of Joseph Smith, Jun. We left five copies 
of the book, and paid three shillings for the copyright. In the 
evening we baptized four persons, one of whom was the wife of 
the Rev. James Albion, who already had received the gospel. 

"Elder Brigham Young, per letter, informed us of the large 
emigration of that season. There were to go on one ship 235, and 
on another 100. To the reader acquainted with the immense emi- 


grations of the Saints in later years, the fact that we considered 
three or four hundred as a large emigration will be noteworthy. 

"Elder Lorenzo Snow arrived in London on February 11, to 
take charge of the Church after our departure. I was truly glad 
once more to greet him, for I had not seen him since 1837. On 
the same day Elder William Pitt also arrived at our lodgings, and 
we had an interesting meeting in the evening. Brother Snow 
preached, and Elder Kimball and myself followed him; the next 
day Brothers Heber and Lorenzo went to Woolwich to give im- 
petus to the work of God in that important town. 

"I give here the minutes of the first London conference, held 
at the Academy, 57 King's Square, Goswell Road, February 14, 
1841 : There were present of officers of the Church, Elders H. C. 
Kimball, Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow, and Wm. Pitt, be- 
sides four priests. The meeting was called to order by Elder H. 
C. Kimball, at 2 o'clock p. m., Sunday, the 14th of February, 
1841, when it was moved by Elder Kimball and seconded by Elder 
Pitt that Wilford Woodruff be the president of the conference. 
Moved by Elder Kimball and seconded by Elder Woodruff, that 
Dr. Wm. Copeland be the clerk. Carried unanimously. The 
meeting was then opened by singing, and prayer by Elder Kim- 
ball. The president then called for the representation of the 
branches of the London conference. The church at Bedford was 
represented by Priest Robert Williams, containing 42 members 
and one priest; seven removed, and two dead. The church at 
Ipswich, represented by Elder Wm. Pitt, consisted of 12 mem- 
bers, one elder, one priest, and one teacher. The church at Wool- 
wich, represented by Priest John Griffith, consisted of six mem- 
bers and one priest. The church at London, represented by H. G 
Kimball, consisted of 46 members, one elder and two priests ; ex- 
cellent prospect of continued increase. Moved and seconded by 
Elders Kimball and Woodruff, that James Albion be ordained an 
Elder; moved and seconded by Elders Kimball and Snow, that 
Thomas Barnes be ordained a teacher; moved and seconded by 
Elders Kimball and Pitt, that Robert Williams be ordained an 
elder to oversee the church at Bedford; moved and seconded by 
Elders Robert Williams and Wm. Pitt that Wm. Smith, at Bed- 
ford, be ordained a priest; moved and seconded by Elders Kim- 

BRITISH MISSION, 1840-'4L 137 

ball and Pitt that Richard Bates be ordained a priest in the Wool- 
wich branch ; moved and seconded by Elders Robert Williams and 
Pitt that John Sheffield be ordained a teacher at Bedford ; moved 
and seconded by Elder Kimball and Brother Griffith that Brother 
A. Painter be ordained a teacher at Woolwich. These motions 
were carried unanimously, and those present were ordained under 
the hands of Elders Kimball, Woodruff, and Snow. Afterward, 
Elder Kimball moved, and Elder Woodruff seconded, that Elder 
Lorenzo Snow be appointed president of this conference, and to 
take the superintendency of the Church in London. Much valu- 
able instruction was given by Elders Kimball and Woodruff in 
relation to the duties of official members, after which it was moved 
by Elder Kimball and seconded by Elder Snow that this confer- 
ence be adjourned till Sunday, the 16th day of May, 1841 ; after 
which the conference closed. Wilford Woodruff, president; Dr. 
Wm. Copeland, clerk.' 

"During this conference meeting, we also broke bread with the 
Saints, and confirmed four new members. At half past six in 
the evening we met again, and had the largest congregation which 
had assembled at our preaching place. One person came forward 
for baptism. This was a day which we had desired long to see ; 
for we had labored exceedingly hard to establish a church in 
London, and at times it seemed as though we would have to give 
it up ; but by holding on to the work of our Divine Master and 
claiming the promises of God we were now to leave an established 
London conference with a prosperous church planted in the me- 
tropolis, under the care of our beloved brother, Lorenzo Snow. 

"Brother Kimball, on the 15th, received a letter from his wife, 
informing us that the Prophet Joseph had written for the Twelve 
to come home immediately. At this time there was a prospect of 
war between America and England, over the imprisonment of Mc- 
Cloud, a British officer, by the state of New York, and also over 
the northeastern boundary question. In consequence of this pros- 
pect, the Prophet Joseph wrote for the Twelve to come home, 
after first thoroughly organizing the British mission and calling 
out a number of native elders to send in every direction through- 
out Great Britain. 

"I spent the 25th of February in visiting the Saints previous 


to my departure, and in the evening preached in London for the 
last time before my return to Nauvoo. Next day I parted from 
Lorenzo Snow and the London Saints, and took train for Bristol, 
to visit the branch which had been raised up there by my convert, 
Elder Thomas Kington, who, it will be remembered, was the su- 
perintendent of the Frome's Hill circuit of United Brethren. Leav- 
ing Bristol, I visited the churches which I had raised up, holding 
conferences and bidding farewell to the Saints, hundreds of whom 
I myself had baptized. 

"When I arrived at Monmouth I found that Elder James 
Morgan awaited my coming, and had given out an appointment 
for me to preach in the town at 7 o'clock, at the house of Robert 
Davis. There was a crowded meeting, and many were unable to 
get into the house. Four offered themselves for baptism. The 
spirit witnessed to me that there would be many embrace the 
gospel in Monmouthshire, and I said, 'the harvest is great and the 
laborers few.' I arose in the morning, refreshed by sleep, and 
having taken breakfast with Mr. Matton, I walked ten miles 
through mud and water, in a driving March rainstorm, to Sis- 
ter Mary Morgan's, at Little Gar way, where I found a pleasant 
family of the Saints. We were drenched with rain, but found a 
good fire, spent the day comfortably, and in the evening I had an 
interesting interview with Elder Littlewood; the next day I re- 
mained at Sister Morgan's, reading with much interest the history 
of Rome, and in the evening I met the officers of the Church there 
in council, and had a good time. Sunday morning I preached at 
the house of Brother Thomas Rood, and in the eveuing at the 
Kitchen, upon the Book of Mormon, and had the place full. 

"On March 8, 1841, 1 met with the Garway conference, at the 
Kitchen. Elder Levi Richards was chosen president, and Elder 
James Morgan, clerk. There were present one of the quorum of 
the Twelve, one high priest, seven elders, eleven priests, two 
teachers, and one deacon. The meeting opened with prayer by 
Elder Woodruff, after which the churches were represented as fol- 
lows : members 134, elders 4, priests 5, teachers 3, deacons 1. 
After the representation, it was moved that John Needham be or- 
dained an elder, William Morris, priest, and Thomas Rough, 
teacher. These were ordained under the hands of Elders Wood- 

BRITISH MISSION, 1840-'41. 139 

ruff and Richards. The meeting adjourned till 3 o'clock, and one 
person was baptized. In the afternoon, Elder Levi Richards spoke 
and I followed him. After meeting, the Saints contributed one 
pound sterling to help me, and I sold them three Books of Mor- 
mon and fifty addresses to the citizens of London. I then 
walked five miles with Brother Richards, to Brother Holley's, and 
spent the night. This was the first time I had seen Brother Levi 
for about two years. 

"Next day, in company of Elders Levi Richards and Thomas 
Pitt, I walked to the city of Hereford, where Elder Ray and others 
had been preaching. On Sunday a preacher arose before two or 
three thousand people in the market house and informed the mul- 
titude that he had a fresh letter direct from America, showing the 
origin of the Book of Mormon. So he read the old Spaulding 
story. When he got through, Elder Levi Richards arose and in- 
formed the people that instead of its being a new story it had 
been published for seven years throughout the United States and 
England. This caused a great uproar, for while some were for 
driving the man out of the place for lying, others were crowding 
around Elders Richards and Ray to hear them preach. The 
crowd, however, was so excited that the elders left the ground 
with hundreds following them. There never was a time when 
the people were so much stirred up and so eager to hear the Lat- 
ter-day Saints as at the present, and it was expected that we 
should not get through the city without having crowds around 
us. We did, however, and had a view of Hereford cathedral as 
we passed along and reached Sister Bufton's. 

"There was at this time a small branch of the Church at 
Hereford, numbering seven members. We parted from Brother 
Pitt at Hereford, and continued to Lugwardine, where I met with 
the church there for the last time, and preached from the 24th 
chapter of Isaiah. On the morrow I walked to Shucknell Hill 
and had an interesting meeting with the Saints and preached up- 
on the gathering to Zion and Jerusalem. It was my last meeting 
with them, and I bade them farewell. Next day I walked to 
Standley Hill and dined with Brother Ockey, whom I was truly 
glad to see once more. We went together through Standley Hill 
and called upon the Saints. Six months had passed since I had 


parted from the churches in this region, but now I was again in 
the field where the Lord by His blessing and the power of the 
Holy Ghost had made my labors so abundantly fruitful. Next 
day I went to Greenway and preached, blessed a child, confirmed 
a member, and administered the ordinance of the gospel to five 
sick persons ; and on the morrow continued to Turkey Hill. There, 
on the Sunday, I communed with the Saints and preached to a 
large congregation upon the gathering. I found the Saints in the 
region around very desirous to gather to the body of the Church, 
but they were poor and had not the means to emigrate to America. 

"On the 15th day of March, 1841, the Bran Green and Gad- 
field Elm conference again assembled, this time afGadfield Elm 
chapel, when the meeting was called to order by Elder Woodruff. 
There were present, one of the quorum of the Twelve Apostles, 
one high priest, ten elders, twenty-one priests, six teachers, and one 
deacon, besides the congregation of the Saints ; there were repre- 
sented, 19 churches, 367 members, 8 elders, 33 priests, 11 teach- 
ers, 1 deacon ; removed, 41 ; died, 1 ; expelled, 2. Wilford Wood- 
ruff was president, and John Hill, clerk of the conference. 

"We had a very interesting time at the conference. There 
was a large assembly of the Saints. It was the last time that I 
could attend in that part of my old and beloved field of labor dur- 
ing my present mission in England ; and whether or not I should 
ever again meet there in a conference assembly of Saints was one 
of the secrets of my future life for time to reveal. We had held 
our meeting without disturbance from some mobocrats who were 
present, for these were kept quiet by police in attendance, in dis- 

"No sooner had the meeting closed than multitudes of the 
Saints crowded around me, and hands were presented on every 
side, to bid me farewell. Many called for me to bless. them before 
I departed ; others cried out, 'Lay hands upon me and heal me be- 
fore you go. ,; One cajne with, 'Brother Woodruff, I am turned out 
of doors for my religion; what shall I do?' Another with, 'I am 
ready to go to Zion, but my wife won't go with me ; shall I leave 
her, to gather with the Saints?' A wife in turn says, 'My husband 
beat me and turned me out of doors because I was baptized. I 
have money enough to carry me and the children to Zion ; will you 

BRITISH MISSION, 1840-'41/ 141 

let me go without him?' 'Brother Woodruff, my mother is over 
eighty years of age and has willed me sixty pounds at her death, 
but will not emigrate with me ; must I stay for her to die, or leave 
her now to go with the Saints?' One said, 'I have sold my little 
place and shall have thirty pounds tomorrow, but must go out 
into the street. I have not enough to carry my family to Amer- 
ica ; can you help me to a few pounds, or tell me what to 3o ?' An 
elder cried out, 'How much longer must I preach in England be- 
fore you will let me go to America V From others of the Saints 
came such as this : 'Brother Woodruff, will you come and preach 
in Cheltenham?' 'My head is in great pain, will you heal me?' 'I 
want you to consecrate this bottle of oil before you go.' 'Will you 
write to me ?' 'I have been waiting a long time to get a chance to 
speak to you; good-bye, remember me to Mrs. Woodruff, good- 
bye ; God bless you !' Thus for more than an hour after the close 
of the meeting I was hailed with the affectionate outbursts and 
adieus, and a host of perplexities, of these Saints, who crowded 
around me as children around their father. 

"Many of the Saints parted from me in tears, and many fol- 
lowed me to Turkey Hill, where I spent the night and they filled 
the house until a late hour, begging counsel and instruction of me. 
One of these was a Baptist minister who had just been baptized 
into the Church. On the morrow, in company with Elder Need- 
ham, I walked to Keysend Street, where I preached to a crowded 
congregation of Saints, and thence continued to Colwall. There 
I met with a large congregation of Saints, and preached to them 
upon the gathering. 

"Next day, with Elder Levi Richards, I walked over to Mal- 
vern Hill and called upon Elder Samuel Jones; thence through 
Great Malvern to Crowcat; I held a meeting at Brother George 
Brooks's, and had an interesting time with a large number -of 
Saints whom I had baptized about a year before. I went to Duns- 
close the day after, visiting many of the Saints by the way, laying 
hands upon the sick, and blessing and counseling others of the 
flock. All were happy to see me ; for I had baptized most of them 
when I first opened that field of labor. Next day we traveled to 
Frome's Hill, and visited the Saints by the way. 

"At Frome's Hill I met with the Saints on Sunday morning, 


and had a crowded house; in the afternoon we held a meeting at 
Standley Hill, where I communed with the Church. At the close 
of the meeting I had a busy time shaking hands with the Saints, 
and parting from them. Many of them wished me to bless them, 
and others to heal them. I spent the night with Brother Levi Rich- 
ards, at Elder Edward Ockey's, and on the morrow we held the 
Frome's Hill conference at Standley Hill. There were present 
one of the traveling high council, two high priests, twenty elders, 
thirty priests, nine teachers, and two deacons. After calling the 
meeting to order, I moved that Elder Levi Richards preside over 
the conference, and he was sustained by the meeting. I was 
chosen clerk. After singing and prayer, the president called upon 
the officers for the representation of the various branches, which 
was given as follows : branches, 33 ; members, 957 ; elders, 24 ; 
priests, 68; teachers, 27; deacons, 8. Robert Gunnery, Edward 
Phillips, and John Spires were ordained to the office of elder un- 
der the hands of Elders Richards, Kington, and myself; Thomas 
Bishop, to the office of priest; and Wm. Rowley, to the office of 
deacon. In the afternoon, after speeches from Elders Richards 
and Kington, I delievered my farewell address, and pronounced 
the benediction on the conference. 

"After the meeting was dismissed, I was almost three hours 
shaking hands with the Saints, healing the sick, and giving coun- 
sel to the multitude which surrounded me, many of whom were in 
tears when we parted. Nearly fifty came to ask me to take them 
to Zion, when I had not means to take myself. However, I gave 
Sister Foxal five pounds to help her and her husband and children 
to the land of America. She had made every exertion for six 
months, to save money to gather with the Saints, and had raised 
thirty pounds. The five pounds I gave to her was a donation 
from Elder Edward Ockey, who was parting with his substance 
to help the poor of the Church to gather. 

After bidding the multitude of Saints farewell, I went to 
Elder Ockey's to spend the night, accompanied by Elders Rich- 
ards, Kington, and Ray. We had been in the house but a short 
time when three of Edward Ockey's brothers came in for the pur- 
pose of having a contest, because their brother and sister had 
embraced the gospel and were about to gather with the Saints. 

BRITISH MISSION. 1840-'4i. i43 

They manifested much wrath against me, and, after conversing 
with me about three hours, they left the house and we were once 
more in peace. After conversing together until the third watch 
of the night, we retired to rest, closing one of the busiest days of 
my life. , 

"I arose in the morning, refreshed by sleep, and after convers- 
ing several hours with Elders Richards, Kington, Ray, Ockey, and 
others, I was under the necessity of parting with the Saints in this 
region. In bidding them farewell, we found in the memories of 
our associations many ties which bound us together. Among the 
faithful ones were the Ockeys. Brother Edward Ockey and his 
sister Ann were of a good and wealthy family. They had many 
trials to pass through to do the will of God and to gather with 
the Saints, for their brothers were set against them exceedingly. 
Brother Edward maintained his integrity like a man* of God and 
was making every preparation to gather with the Saints, but his 
sister Ann had fears that her brothers would hinder her gathering. 

"Having bidden farewell to the Saints of Standley Hill, I 
walked to Frome's Hill and conversed with the Elders until two 
o'clock, when I took the parting hand of Elders Richards, King- 
ton, Ray, and others, and, with my carpet bag with about twenty 
pounds weight in it, walked fifteen miles to Worcester, in four 
hours. When I arrived there I was so very lame and weary with 
my heavy load and fast walking that I could scarcely walk at all. 
I then took rail and arrived in Birmingham at 10 o'clock at night, 
but was exceedingly lame and weary. I spent the night with El- 
der James Riley, 24 Park Street. 

"I had now fairly ended my Herefordshire mission, and bid- 
den a last farewell to that field of labor where the* Lord had 
blessed me beyond all my expectations. I now left three confer- 
ences in the region which I opened one year before, on the 5th 
of the same month that I left this vineyard, now planted all over 
with churches, numbering fifteen hundred Saints. The minutes 
which I have recorded will show at a glance the rise and progress 
of the churches in Herefordshire, and the regions around. 

"On Sunday, the 28th of March, the Staffordshire Conference 
met, and there were present of the Twelve, George A. Smith and 
Wilford Woodruff, with 1 high priest, 13 elders, 28 priests, 10 


teachers, and 8 deacons. The conference was held in the Magis- 
trate's Assembly Room. At the close of the conference it was 
voted that 'this conference grant Elders Woodruff and George A. 
Smith a letter of recommendation manifesting that the Church 
in this region accept of their labors and consider that they have 
filled their mission with honor and dignity.' 

"We had a very interesting time on this occasion. The con- 
ference was held in a place which would contain 800, and it was 
crowded ; but there was perfect order and much good feeling man- 
ifested during the day. There was prospect of a continued in- 
crease in the Potteries. George A. Smith was the president of the 
conference, and T. J. Fitcher and O. Shaw, clerks. Next day 
George A. Smith and myself met the officers in council at the 
Hanley meeting rooms, and gave such advice as we deemed wis- 
dom; we then took our farewell. On the following day we also 
parted from the Saints at Burslem, took coach to Manchester, and 
called upon Parley P. Pratt, 47 Oxford Street ; we found him and 
his family enjoying good health. 

"On the 6th of April, 1841, the General Conference of the 
British Mission was held in Carpenter's Hall, Manchester, at 
which there were present nine of the quorum of the Twelve; 
namely, President Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson 
Hyde, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Willard Richards, Wilford 
Woodruff, John Taylor, and George A. Smith. The total mem- 
bership of the British mission at that time was represented as 
5,814, and 800 besides had emigrated to America under the trans- 
portation arrangements of the Church. At this conference the 
Twelve blessed and set apart Orson Hyde for his mission to Jeru- 
salem, to which he had been called by the Prophet Joseph. This 
was the first and only time in this dispensation that the Twelve 
Apostles sat in conference as a quorum in a foreign land. 

"Immediately after the General Conference, those of the 
Twelve who were about to return home hastened to Liverpool, and 
embarked for America on the 20th of April, on board of the ship 
Rochester. Next day, the wind being favorable, the ship weighed 
anchor. There were on board Brigham Young, Heber C. Kim- 
ball, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, George A. Smith, Wilford 
Woodruff, Willard Richards, and John Taylor, of the Twelve, 

BRITISH MISSION, 1840-'41. 145 

with Elder Reuben Hedlock and 120 of the British Saints. On 
our passage across the Atlantic we had some very tempestuous 
weather and became familiar with 'a storm at sea/ On the 20th 
of May we landed in New York, and on the next day George A. 
Smith and myself took up our abode for a few days at Brother 
Foster's. While there I met my brothers-in-law, Ezra and Ilus 
Carter, and also Dr. Charles Fabyan, my wife's relative. 

"On the 22nd of May, at the house of Brother Foster, in New 
York, and in the presence of the quorum of the Twelve, 
I performed the service of marriage between Mr. Edward Ockey 
and Miss Eliza Brewer, both of them my converts of Castle 
Frome. This was the first marriage ceremony at which I offici- 

"On the 2nd of June I arrived at Scarboro by stage, and was 
permitted to embrace my wife, and also my first born son; Wil- 
ford, Jr., whom I had not seen before. After two years of sep- 
aration from my wife, it was indeed a happy reunion. There I 
stayed with my father-in-law until the 5th of July, and then left 
for my native place, Farmington, Conn., where I arrived the third 
day after. While tarrying at my father's house I married my 
sister Eunice Woodruff to Mr. Dwight Webster. At my sister's 
marriage there were present between forty and fifty persons, most- 
ly our relatives. This was on the 4th of August, 1841. A few 
days afterwards my aunt Beulah Hart was baptized into the 
Church, and on the 18th of the month I bade farewell to my fath- 
er's house, after a stay of forty-one days. This was a longer visit 
than I had paid to any of my friends for the past ten years. 

"On the 9th of September, a little company, consisting of my- 
self, wife, and son, and four others, started on board the boat San- 
dusky for Albany. Our ultimate destination was Nauvoo, where 
we arrived on the 5th of the next month. When I left Nauvoo, 
two years before, there were not more than a dozen houses in the 
place, but on my return to the city there were several hundred. 
We passed by the Temple, then building, and had a view of it ; we 
then called at the house of Elder Brigham Young, and there spent 
the night. Brother Brigham was sick, and Heber C. Kimball and 
Willard Richards were with him. We laid hands upon him and 
he soon recovered. I saw many of my old friends and acquaint- 



ances, and was informed that others of them were dead. I met 
with many friends on the day after my return to Nauvoo, and also 
sat in council with the Twelve, and was happy once more to meet 
with my quorum. I moved my things to Elder Kimball's. My 
wife and child were sick. On the 30th of October, 1841, the city 
council met, and in course of its business I was appointed one of 
the city council of Nauvoo." 



Wilford Renders Aid to the Persecuted Saints. — His Care in Recording 
the Events, also Sermons and Sayings of the Prophet Joseph 
Smith. — Elder Woodruff's Humility, and Aopreciation of the Work 
of Others. — At a Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Convention. — 
Letter from His Wife Announcing the Death of Their Daughter. — 
Revelation Foreshadowing the Troubles of the Saints in the Ex- 
pulsion from Illinois. 

In the fullest sense Wilford Woodruff was a man of in- 
dustrious habits. During the interval between his return from 
the Fox Islands and his departure with others of the Twelve for 
the European mission, he not only labored hard to provide for his 
family ; but, true to the spirit of a faithful saint and disciple of the 
Lord, he devoted much time to visiting the afflicted Saints in 
Montrose, Iowa, and in Nauvoo, Illinois. He also rendered effici- 
ent service in getting teams and money to assist the Saints in 
their exodus from Far West, Missouri, to Illinois. 

The Prophet Joseph Smith being in prison, Presidents Brig- 
ham Young and Heber C. Kimball, with other leading brethren, 
made a solemn covenant that they would not rest until they had 
made every possible effort to free the Saints from their perse- 
cutors in Missouri, and lead them safely to Nauvoo. In this 
movement, as at all other times, Wilford Woodruff was a staunch 
supporter of the presiding authorities of the Church. In his journal 
he makes prominent mention of the mobbings in Missouri, the 
martyrdom of Elder David W. Patten and others, the imprison- 
ment of Joseph and Hyrum Smith and other leading men of the 
Church, their escape from prison, and of other events of those 
times. Indeed, whether or not Wilford Woodruff was present 
at the occurrence of some important event in Church history, he 
made careful investigations and recorded the results of his re- 
search. Were it not for this care, the history of many events 
now looked upon as important never would have been written. 
He also reported in considerable fullness nearly every sermon 
he heard preached by the Prophet Joseph Smith. Almost every 
gem from the sayings of the Prophet Joseph published in the 


Compendium is found in Wilford Woodruff's journal; also are 
many others which have not been published. Whenever he made 
the acquaintance of men or women whose integrity- to the gos- 
pel and generosity to the Saints were notable, their names have 
an honored place in his journal. In this connection, for the 
comfort and encouragement of their immediate friends and de- 
scendants, it may be said that the names of William Clayton, 
John Benbow, William Pitt, Edward Ockey, Alfred Cordon, with 
others whom he met first in England, and some of whom he bap- 
tized, are mentioned many times by him, with feelings of love 
and admiration. These all died in the faith; may their descen- 
dants follow in their footsteps, and the prayers of Wilford Wood- 
ruff in their behalf not go unanswered. 

His first mission to Great Britain was a' land mark in Church 
history. His wonderful success is without a parallel in the mis- 
sionary experiences of that or of any subsequent period. Its 
importance grows with the growth of the work. He here re- 
turns to that mission in a reminiscent spirit and recounts events 
overlooked in his hasty survey contained in the narrative of the 
previous chapter. What follows picks up loose ends and is not 
given as a summary. 

On the 10th of February, 1840, he records this item: 

"On this day Queen Victoria of England was married to 
Prince Albert. As many were on this day celebrating the mar- 
riage of the queen, I thought it right to honor the King of Heaven 
by advocating His cause and preaching the gospel of Jesus 
Christ. I walked into the market place at Burslem, accompanied 
by Elder Alfred Cordon and two other brethren, and we began 
to sing and pray unto God, and call upon His name. A congre- 
gation flocked around us, and we preached to them ; I bore testi- 
mony of the great work which God had set His hand to accom- 
plish and of the second coming of Christ, and warned the people 
to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins." 

While viewing the beauties of English landscape, many times 
his soul was filled with intense admiration for the works of the 
Creator. Describing a visit to Malvern Hill, he says: "In my 
walk to Colwell on the 9th, I had a great survey of nature and 
of the power of the Creator; this was while standing upon the 
summit of Marlvern Hill, elevated from twelve hundred to fif- 


teen hundred feet above the level. The surrounding country was 
before my view, stretched out many miles. Worcester town lies 
on the north, clearly seen in the prospect, Gloucester on the south, 
with several large villages between, Ledbury and other villages 
on the west, and a fine, beautifully cultivated vale upon every 
hand. While upon this noted hill, beholding the grand and charm- 
ing prospect before me, the thunder began to roll, and the light- 
ning flashed in the vale below, on which the rain descended in 
torrents. The solemnity and grandeur of the scene was impres- 
sive as I stood upon the hill above the clouds, surveying the 
beautiful works of the Creator, and His majesty in the storm." 

While upon this mission, on March 22, 1840, a son, Wilford 
Woodruff Jr., was born. At this writing he is living, and is a 
faithful worker in the Salt Lake Temple. Upon leaving Here- 
fordshire in June, 1840, to attend the Manchester conference, 
Wilford comments : "I never before left a field of labor with as 
much satisfaction with the results of my work; I felt to render 
unto God the gratitude of my heart for giving me so many souls 
as seals to my ministry ; and I note the remarkable fact that I had 
been led by the spirit (only a little more than three months before) 
through a densely populated country for eighty miles, and chose 
no part of it for my field of labor until I was led by the Lord to 
the house of John Benbow, at Frome's Hill, where I preached 
for the first time on the 5th of March, 18 4 0; now, on the *22nd 
of June, I was going to the Manchester conference, to represent 
this fruitful field of my labors with thirty-three organized church- 
es numbering 541 members, 300 of whom received the ordinance 
of baptism under my hands." In that labor, attended with such 
unprecedented success in this dispensation, he never, for a mo- 
ment, felt to take honor to himself; yet with characteristic hu- 
mility and meekness he failed not to make honorable mention of the 
labor of other brethren who came to assist him. For instance, of 
Presidents Brigham Young and Willard Richards he writes : 
"Elder Brigham Young labored with me in this vineyard about 
one month ; from him the Saints and I received much benefit, for 
he is mighty in counsel, and is endowed with much wisdom. Elder 
Willard Richards had labored with me two months, and was 
also a great blessing to us, for he had passed through a not- 
able school of* experience and learned much wisdom, and his 


sound judgment was very manifest in the councils and confer- 
ences in which we had acted together." At that time the British 
mission numbered forty-one branches of the Church, with 2,513 
members, the local officers including 56 elders, 126 priests, 61 
teachers, and 13 deacons; 842 members had been the increase in 
the preceding three months. It was about this time that a local 
elder who was in the British army was ordered with his regi- 
ment to India, where he went in good spirits, determined to 
carry the gospel to that land, he being the first to do so. At this 
time Wilford also notes in his journal the death of Bishop Ed- 
ward Partridge, and makes this comment: "Bishop Partridge 
was one of the wisest and best men of the last generation. Like 
Nathaniel of old, in him th^re was no guile. He had passed 
through much persecution with the Saints, for the word of God 
and the testimony of Jesus." 

Brother Woodruff relates that Elders Brigham Young, Heber 
C. Kimball and himself were once locked out of an Aitkenite 
meeting because the preachers were afraid the spirit of the Lat- 
ter-day Saints mission would break up their society. He also 
narrates this incident : "In company with Elder George A. Smith, 
I attended the Wesleyan Methodist missionary convention held 
on City Road, London. It was considered one of the greatest 
of the kind ever held in that city. The chair was filled by the 
Lord Mayor. He was a noble-looking man, and the insignia of 
office which hung about his neck consisted of six gold chains,which 
were large and very heavy. The object of the meeting was to 
arrange for sending out missionaries, and to make collections to 
liquidate a debt of fifty thousand pounds sterling-. Some of the 
best talent of Europe was gathered on this occasion. Much 
policy was manifested in this combinaton of ministers and their 
influence for raising means. The speeches were from ten to 
twelve minutes' duration. One minister from Scotland arose and 
said: 'My Lord and Wesleyan friends, let my tongue cleave to 
my mouth and my right hand forget her cunning when I do not 
take a Wesleyan by the hand and call him brother/ One from 
the Church of England said: 'My Lord and Wesleyan friends, 
I wish you, while looking at the Church of England, to cover 
her imperfections with the cloak of charity — I would readily 
cover the imperfections of the Wesleyan society, but I know not 


where they are. I would not hesitate to cover the imperfections 
of the Church of Rome were it in my power, but they are all 
scarlet.' A Wesleyan minister then arose and said: 'We are 
highly favored on this occasion by having for our chairman the 
Lord Mayor of London, the chief magistrate of the most renowned 
city of the world; and his lordship has, like Caesar, submitted 
himself to the worship of Christ in this condescension ; but, when 
rightly considered, is not my Lord as highly honored in pre- 
siding over this vast body of respectable citizens this evening on 
so important a matter as he would be were he reigning upon a 
throne ? For the angels in heaven honor every effort that is made 
on earth for the spread of the gospel, and the saving of the souls 
of men. My Lord and Christian friends, how did the ancient apos- 
tles prevail? They were illiterate, and had neither money nor 
influence, and their doctrines were unpopular, yet they established 
the gospel, maintained the doctrines of Christ, and caused the 
nations to tremble; Dut this was all by the power of God, and 
not of man. My Lord, our circumstances are different from 
theirs. We have influence and wealth; we have splendid chapels 
and respectable bodies, and our members are many; yet if God is 
not with us we cannot prevail.' (I shouted, 'Amen!') These 
speeches continued until 10 p. m., when a collection was made, and 
the Lord Mayor arose and addressed the three thousand people 
present. This was in City Road chapel — the first ever erected 
by the celebrated John Wesley. The Lord Mayor said: Tt is 
with pleasure that I have been permitted to preside over this 
respectable body this evening, on so important an occasion, which 
will be indelibly fixed upon my mind as one of the most pleasing 
events of my life ; and I trust I shall ever be as ready to perform 
every duty required of me by the citizens of London as I have 
been to meet with our Wesleyan friends this evening.' The house 
rang .with applause. In the midst of all this, who can imagine 
our feelings? None but those in like situation. Here were we 
with a mission and message from the Lord to the inhabitants of 
London. We stood in their midst ready to deliver that message 
as the Lord might open our way, and yet we were as little known 
to the people as was Jonah to the citizens of Nineveh while in 
the belly of the whale. Notwithstanding all this display of talent, 
yet the people needed a humble servant of the Lord to teach them 


the gospel in its purity, as Nineveh jieeded a prophet to cry re- 
pentance therein. I retired alone, and reflected upon these 

Scenes of this kind stirred Wilford Woodruff, in his deeply 
conscientious nature, with great anxiety and concern, lest he 
might fail to deliver his divine message to the very uttermost 
of the requirement made of him. 

The grief that bowed down Wilford Woodruff's heart at 
receiving news of the death of his little daughter finds pathetic 
expression in his journal, in which also appears the letter from 
his wife bearing the sorrowful tidings. It reads: 

"My Dear Wilford: What will be your feelings when I say 
that yesterday I was to witness the departure of our little Sarah 
Emma from this world? Yes, she is gone. The relentleij hand 
of death has snatched her from my embrace. She was too lovely, 
kind, and affectionate to live in this wicked world. When looking 
upon her I have often thought how I should feel to part with 
her. I thought I could not live without her, especially in the 
absence of my companion ; but she is gone. The Lord has taken 
her home to Himself, for some wise purpose. It is a trial to me, 
but the Lord has stood by me in a wonderful manner. He will 
take better care of her than I possibly could do. We have one 
little angel in heaven, and I think it likely that her spirit has 
visited you before this time. She used to call her Papa, and left 
a kiss for her Papa before she died. Today, little Wilford and I 
with a number of friends, came over to Commerce, to pay our 
last respects to our darling in seeing her decently buried. * * 
She had no relatives to follow her to the grave, or to shed for her 
a silent tear, except her Mamma and little Wilford. She lies 
alone in peace. 'The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. 
Blessed be the name of the Lord/ 

Phoebe W. Woodruff/' 

Under date of October 2, 1840, Wilford being at that time 
with Elder Heber C. Kimball, says in his journal: "Elder Kim- 
ball and I arose from our bed that morning with the power of 
God resting upon us, yea, His spirit was like fire shut up in 
our bones. I said, 'O my God, why is Thy spirit thus upon me? 


Why are mine eyes like a fountain? What art Ttiou about to do, 
O Lord, that causes this thing? I ask Thee, Father, in the name 
of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, to make it known unto me/ The spirit 
of revelation came upon me, and I was answered: Thus saith 
the Lord God unto thee, my servant Wilford. This is my spirit 
which resteth upon thee to enlighten thy mind, to show thee things 
to come; and not only upon thee but upon all my faithful ser- 
vants upon the face of the whole earth, saith the Lord. Mine 
indignation is about to be poured out without mixture upon all 
the nations of the. earth, and they shall not escape. The cry 
of the poor, of the widow and the orphan ascendeth to mine ears, 
saith the Lord, and I am about to avenge the cry of mine elect 
by laying low the oppressor, and executing the decree of mine 
heart upon all the ungodly amongst men. Here I put my spirit 
upon thee and say unto thee, lift up thy voice and spare not, and 
call upon all men that come within the sound of thy voice to re- 
pent, and many souls shall be given unto thee, and great shall be 
thy reward, and eternal shall be thy glory, saith the Lord/ ,J 

About this time the spirit of the Lord rested in similar 
manner upon the other apostles and elders, and indeed upon 
many of the Saints throughout the British Isles. "They had vivid 
impressions of the trouble and persecutions about to be heaped 
upon trie Saints in America and Europe. Elder Woodruff furth- 
er says: "But my mind was troubled, for the spirit manifested 
unto me much discomfort and persecution among the Saints 
throughout Europe and America, and that many will fall away; 
also that the powers that be in America will rise up against the 
Church and it will be driven; and that while trouble lay in the 
future before the people of God, greater calamities await the 
world. The Saints were receiving testimonies of the clouds which 
were gathering over the Church, and afterwards over the whole 
world, for judgments begin at the house of God." 

How completely the revelation thus given to Wilford Wood- 
ruff by the Spirit of prohecy which rested upon him, and to his 
brethren and the Saints in Europe, was fulfilled, is well known 
to those familiar with the history of the Church of Jesus Christ 
of Latter-day Saints during the score of years succeeding the 
manifestation herein recorded. 


IN NAUVOO, 1841. 

Prophetic Insight. — Teachings of the Prophet. — Baptism for the Dead 
— Hyrum Kimball. 

The life of Wilford Woodruff is a remarkable example of 
the manner in which those who are pre-eminently qualified as 
preachers of the gospel are required to fill out a well rounded life 
of experiences, touching most important phases of human con- 
duct in almost all the walks of life. Had Wilford Woodruff be- 
longed to some religious denomination of his day, it is con- 
sistent to suppose that he would have been exclusively a preach- 
er, as he loved to expound the Scriptures and speak of the good- 
ness of God and His wondrous ways. Mormonism, however, 
made of him both a preacher and a man of affairs, and his service 
in life covered a wide range of useful activities. He was, 
in the days of Nauvoo's municipal glory, a member of its city 
council. The responsibility of such a position at that time when 
municipal government was little understood was one of special 

On the 7th of November, 1841, on the Sabbath day he tells us 
that he made a call upon the Prophet Joseph and from there 
went to the home of Brigham Young. Later he attended a 
meeting of the Saints and listened to an address of a certain 
elder who was reprimanded by the Prophet Joseph. That repri- 
mand carried with it such prophetic insight into the character 
of the man who still lives, that the incident is taken from Elder 
Woodruff's journal as follows: "Brother Joseph rose and repri- 
manded him as pharisaical and hypocritical, and he was told that 
he had not edified the people by his two hours' talk. The man's 
life has ever since been in keeping with this characterization of 
the Prophet. He aims to be a fellow well met with all denomin- 
ations. He occasionally visits the Saints, and while with them 
professes faith in the gospel and claims brotherhood with them. 
The Prophet then addressed himself to the Saints, told them that 
if they would not falsely accuse one another, the Lord would not 
accuse them; and if they had no accusers, they should enter 

IN NAUVOO, 1841. 155 

into the Kingdom of Heaven. He also spoke at some length 
upon the character of sin and declared that many things which 
the denominations of that day taught as sins were really not sins 
at all, that many things were done in the purposes of God to break 
down superstitions of men and loosen from them the fetters of 
traditions by which their souls were bound. 

The 21st of November, 1841, was a red-letter day in the 
history of Nauvoo. Elder Woodruff says, "The Twelve met in 
council at President Brigham Young's home. Afterwards there 
was a general meeting of the Saints who were addressed by John 
Taylor and Hyrum Sxnith. The Twelve then returned to Brigham 
Young's home and were occupied in counsel until four in the 
afternoon when they repaired to the baptismal font in the base- 
ment of the Nauvoo Temple." Again quoting from Elder Wood- 
ruff's journal we read: "It was truly an interesting scene. It 
was the first font built in this dispensation for the glorious pro- 
vision in the gospel which provided for the redemptoin of the 
dead. It was dedicated by President Joseph Smith and the Twelve. 
A large congregation assembled to witness the baptism of about 
forty persons by Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and John 
Taylor. Elders Willard Richards, George A. Smith, and myself 
assisted in confirming them. Afterwards I passed the evening 
with the quorum of the Twelve at the home of Heber C. Kimball." 

Along with these religious duties came the daily responsi- 
bilities of the material interests of the Church. At this time 
the Nauvoo House was in the process of construction. Elder 
Woodruff had charge of the provision store and through it took 
an active part in the construction of that important building. 
During these times, Saints were arriving in considerable num- 
bers from England. Many of them had received the ordi- 
nance of baptism at his hands. They needed instruction, en- 
couragement, and the sympathy of a brotherly love. They found 
in the messenger who had brought the word of the Lord to them 
as consistent a friend in their new home as he had been when an 
elder abroad. 

On the 25th of November, 1841, about two hundred Saints 
from New York arrived in Warsaw. Their arrival was in the 
midst of a heavy snow storm. Elder Woodruff records the work 
of love at that time in providing for them every comfort that 


could be found. He mentions in his journal the names of those 
whose integrity and love he cherished. Those early friendships 
were always dear to his memory, and it mattered not to him what 
station in life a man occupied if he was loyal to God and true to 
his brethren. He speaks of Kington, Benbow, Ockey, Bruitt, and 

The words of the Prophet fell upon Elder Woodruff's ears as 
the voice of Scripture. He puts them in the journal because he 
believes that some day they will contain enlightenment and guid- 
ance for those who faithfully read them. He says about this time 
that the Prophet spoke of those who complained of him because 
he did not bring forth more of the word of the Lord. To those 
who professed to be able to receive more of the word of God than 
had been given them, he said: "A man might command his son 
to do a certain thing and before it was done he might for good 
and sufficient reason require him to do something else. The 
exercise of parental authority in such a manner is considered 
quite proper; but if the Lord gives a command and afterward 
revokes it and commands something else, there are those ready to 
cry out, 'A false prophet!' Those who will not receive chastise- 
ment from a prophet and apostles are often chastised by the Lord 
with sickness and death. Let not any man publish his own right- 
eousness, others can do that for him. Let him rather confess his 
sins, and he will then be forgiven and bring forth more and 
better fruit. The reason we do not have more of the secrets of 
the Lord revealed unto us is because we do not Keep to our 
own secrets, but reveal them and make our difficulties known even 
to our enemies. What greater love hath any man than that he will 
lay down his life for his friends? Why not then stand by them 
unto death? 

Elder Woodruff's journal containing an account of the utter- 
ances of the prominent men of that day clearly indicates the 
deep anxiety which President Brigham Young felt Tor the com- 
pletion of the Temple. His interest in the building was scarcely 
less than that of the Prophet himself. The responsibility of its 
completion weighed heavily upon his mind and he gave himself un 
heart and soul to the construction of that great edifice. In view 
of the fact that some years later after the Prophet's death the 
responsibility of its completion and the ordinances to be per- 

IN NAUVOO, 1841. 


formed therein rested most heavily upon him, one can appreciate 
his heart-felt admonition on the subject when he was constant- 
ly urging the Saints before the death of the Prophet. 

On Chritsmas day of 1841 Elder Woodruff says that he and 
other members of the Twelve visited the home of Hyrum Kimball, 
who, before they left, presented each of the Twelve with a lot to 
which he gave them the deed. On the 26th and 27th the Twelve vis- 
ited the home of the Prophet, and on one of these days Elder 
Woodruff says in his journal that the Prophet showed him and 
others for the first time the Urim and Thummim, 

During that year the subject of this biography had visited 
London, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester, Staffordshire Potteries, 
Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Worcester, Hereford, Ledbury, 
Malvern Hill, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Oxford, Woolwich, and 
Monmouth. In America he visited and preached the gospel in 
New York, Portland, Boston, Hartford, New Haven, Albany, 
Buffalo, Detroit, Mackinaw, and Chicago. He held 83 meetings, 
attended 10 conferences, baptized 21 persons and assisted in the 
baptism of 18 others, confirmed 46, and ordained 38 persons to 
offices in the priesthood. 



Building of the Temple 1 . — Book of Moses. — Words of the Prophet. — 
Nauvoo Legion. — Business Trip to St Louis. — Return of Orson 

Elder* Woodruff was a messenger of peace, a man by tempera- 
ment and faith pre-eminently fitted to be a missionary of the word 
of God to the nations of the earth. As one studies his life and the 
life of the early leaders of the Church, one is constantly reminded 
of their peculiar fitness and qualifications for the work needed in 
the Church in its early life. 

New year of 1842 found him at home in Nauvoo enjoying 
with his family and friends the festive season. He had been a 
member of the Church eight years, but during that membership 
had been absent from home perhaps four-fifths of the time. He 
records the fact that he with the quorum of the Twelve passed 
the day at the home of Brother Stoddard. 

Nauvoo was at this time taking on a new interest. The erec- 
tion of the Temple awakened within such men a heartfelt desire, 
not only to take part in the work, but to enjoy its ordinances at 
the earliest possible opportunity. They felt that these ordinances 
would give to them a new spiritual life and that they would be bet- 
ter qualified in consequence as messengers of the word of God to 
the nations of the earth. In his journal he writes: "It is an in- 
teresting occasion for us to meet with our families during the fes- 
tive season in the City of the Saints in the midst of peace and 
love. We prize more highly this privilege as we are so often 
separated in the vineyard of the Lord. It is a privilege to be at 
home for a season and provide for my family. This is the first 
time since I have been in the Church that I have been thus priv- 
ileged as I have been on missions most of the time for eight years." 

During the early part of January he paid a visit to his old 
time friend, John Benbow, who lived on the prairie six miles from 
Nauvoo. Elder Benbow had been a very liberal man in promot- 
ing the missionary work of Apostle Woodruff abroad. He was 
just as liberal when he joined the Saints near Nauvoo. Besides 


his regular offerings, he loaned money to the Prophet to meet 
pressing obligations of himself and the Church. "This was the 
first time I had visited him since my return home. I passed the 
time there very pleasantly. His farm looked almost* like a Garden 
of Eden. I have never seen more work done in one year on a 
prairie farm than was done on his. He had surrounded and 
crossed it with heavy ditches, and had planted thorn hedges. His 
dwelling, barns, sheds, garden, yards, and orchards were all beau- 
tifully arranged. The farm resembled very much the farms of old 
England. Elder Benbow had been a well-to-do- farmer on about 
three hundred acres of and. This place was a pleasant retreat 
for a summer's ride from Nauvoo. The little neighborhood con- 
sisted of five families from England. All were united except one 
family that had denied the faith. Before my return to the city 
I paid John Benbow two hundred dollars for President Smith and 
had it endorsed on his note." 

The activity in and about Nauvoo directed toward the erec- 
tion of the Temple must have presented the appearance of men 
who worked with a will to accomplish definite purposes. Elder 
Woodruff himself was engaged in hauling large stones from the 
river to Temple Hill. Whatever he set himsef to do he did as 
though it were the occupation of his life and never a makeshift. 
It was that whole-souled devotion that enabled him to turn from 
one occupation to another without any disappointment or distaste. 
It is only the half-hearted that complain at interruptions, who are 
distracted when taken from one condition of life to another and 
are subjected to radical as well as frequent changes. 

From the occupation of a rock hauler he was called to the 
printing press, and with John Taylor he took up the work of pub- 
lishing the "Times and Seasons," which thereafter was to be under 
the direction of Joseph, the Seer. He began work in his new 
calling by taking charge of the business department of the paper. 
Joseph was editor in chief and John Taylor was his assistant. 

About this time the Prophet was occupied in the translation 
of the Book of Moses from an Egyptian papyrus. Parts of the 
book were published in the "Times and Seasons," and its subject 
matter created a peculiar satisfaction in the heart of Wilford 
Woodruff. Wilford Woodruff was himself a student of Holy 


Writ, a man of pronounced religious convictions, untouched by the 
religious persuasions of his time. His complete surrender, and 
his perfect devotion to his new-found calling are sufficient in them- 
selves to command attention and persuade others that there must 
have been something remarkable in his new-found faith, other- 
wise he would not have been one of its apostles. "I have been 
much edified of late," he says, "in listening to the Prophet converse 
upon the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. Surely the Lord is 
with him and is making him mighty in knowledge and wisdom. 
I am convinced that none of the prophets or seers have ever ac- 
complished a greater work than the Lord will bring to pass 
through the instrumentality of the Prophet Joseph Smith." 

Wilford Woodruff knew his Bible, he knew himself, and the 
simplicity and purity of his own soul fitted him for the reception 
of a new light. He was not a mere enthusiast, he was never fan- 
atical, and was not easily touched by the sophistries of men. Such 
a testimony of the Prophet Joseph has therefore a peculiar sig- 
nificance to those who honestly and without bias study the life of 
Joseph Smith. 

March 1st of that year, Elder Woodruff's natal day, he ob- 
served by making a feast for his friends. Sundry duties occupied 
his time. He was chaplain of the Nauvoo Legion; he took part 
in the organization of the Masonic Lodge of Nauvoo; and was 
present when it was addressed by the Grand Master of the 
Masonic Lodge of Illinois. He, with the Prophet and others, was 
a member of the Masonic fraternity. The fraternity sought for 
in that organization was superseded by a more perfect fraternity 
found in the vows and covenants which the endowment in the 
House of God afforded members of the Church. Besides, the 
Saints learned that they must surrender worldly affiliations, since 
the world was opposed to the mission of Joseph Smith and his fol- 
lowers. Those who seek their highest guidance in precedence 
quote the circumstance as an argument for the return to the con- 
dition of those times. The Church, however, rests upon the rock 
of revelation and must follow divine guidance rather than prece- 

Passing on in the journal of Wilford Woodruff we find re- 
corded the synopsis of a discourse by the Prophet Joseph on death. 


the resurrection, and baptism. "We have/' says the Prophet, "the 
warning voice again sounded in our midst, a voice which her- 
alds the uncertainty of human life. In my leisure moments I have 
meditated and asked the question : Why is it that innocent children 
are taken away from us, especially those who seem to be the most 
intelligent ? This world is a very wicked world, and it is a proverb 
that it grows weaker and wiser. If so it becomes more corrupt. 
In the early ages of the world the righteous man, the man of God 
and of intelligence had a better opportunity to do good, to be re- 
ceived and believed than at the present day. In these days such 
a man is opposed and persecuted by most of the inhabitants of the 
earth and has to pass through much sorrow, hence the Lord takes 
away many in infancy that they may escape the envy of man and 
escape the sorrows and evils' of the world. They are too pure and 
too lovely to live on the earth ; therefore, if rightly considered, we 
have reason to rejoice instead of mourning, as their death is their 
deliverance from evil and we shall soon have them again. 

"What chance is there for infidelity when we are parting daily 
with our friends ? There is none at all. The infidel will grasp at 
every straw for help until death stares him in the face and then 
his infidelity takes flight ; for the realities of the eternal world are 
resting in mighty power upon him. When every earthly support 
fails him, he sensibly feels the eternal truths of the immortality 
of the soul. 

"Respecting the doctrine of baptism, or sprinkling of children, 
in order that they may not be consigned to hell I wish to say, it is 
not true, nor is it supported by Holy Writ. It is not consistent 
with the character of God. The moment children leave this world 
they are taken into Abraham's bosom. The only difference be- 
tween the old and young in death is that one lives longer in heaven 
and in eternal light and glory than the other and was freed a little 
earlier from this wicked world. Notwithstanding all this glory we 
for a moment lose sight of it and mourn our loss, but we mourn 
not as those without hope. 

"We should take warning and not wait for deathbed repent- 
ance. Let it be a warning not to procrastinate repentance, not 
wait for death. It is the will of God that men should repent arid 
serve him in health and strength and in the power of their minds 



in order to secure divine blessings. God has made certain decrees 
which are fixed and unalterable. He set the sun, the moon, and 
the stars and gave them their laws, conditions, and bounds which 
they cannot pass except by His command. They all move in per^ 
feet harmony in their spheres and are as wondrous lights and 
signs to us. The sea also has its bounds which it cannot pass with- 
out His command. God has set many signs in the earth as well as 
in the heavens. The oaks of the forest, the herbs of the field, the 
fruit of the tree all bear signs. that seeds have been planted. It 
is a decree of the Lord that every tree or herb bearing seed shall 
bring forth after its own kind. Upon the same principle I contend 
that baptism is a sign and ordinance of God for every believer in 
Christ in order that he may enter into the Kingdom of God. The 
Savior said : 'Except a man be born of the water and of the spirit 
he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God/ It is a sign and a 
commandment that God hath given whereby man may enter into 
His Kingdom. Those who seek to enter in any other way will 
seek in vain. God will never receive them nor will angels ac- 
knowledge their works if they have not taken upon themselves 
those ordinances and signs which God ordained in order that man 
might receive the celestial glory. God has decreed that all who will 
not obey His voice shall not escape the damnation of hell. And 
what is the damnation of hell? It is to be numbered with the so- 
ciety of those who have not obeyed His commandments. Baptism 
is a sign to God and to the angels and to heaven that we do the will 
of the Father; and there is no other way ordained of God for 
man to come unto Him. The laying on of hands is a sign given 
for the healing of the sick and we do not obtain the blessing by 
pursuing any other course. The same is true in reference to the 
gift of the Holy Ghost. There is a difference between the Holy 
Ghost and the gift of the Holy Ghost Cornelius received the 
Holy Ghost before he was baptized, but he could not receive the 
gift of the Holy Ghost until after he had been baptized. Had he 
not received the ordinance of baptism, the Holy Ghost, which con- 
vinced him of the truth of God, would have left him until he had 
obtained the ordinances of baptism and received the gift of the 
Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. 

"It mattereth not whether we live long or short after we come 


to a knowledge of the principles of the gospel and obey them. I 
know that all men will be damned if they come not in the way 
which God has ordained. Concerning the resurrection I will say 
merely that we will come from the grave as we lie down, whether 
we die old or young. Not one cubit will be added to or taken 
away from our stature. 'Blessed are the dead which die in the 
Lord, for they rest from their labors and their works do follow 
them/ " 

"The Prophet/' says Elder Woodruff, "then called upon the 
people to assemble themselves in prayer before God and call upon 
Him in mighty faith, prayer, and fasting that the inhabitants of 
the city might escape the power of the destroyer which rageth 
upon the face of the earth, and that the earth might be sanctified 
under their feet." Here the Prophet clearly sets forth the principle 
that the blessings of our spiritual lives, the blessings of the world 
hereafter are the result of obedience to spiritual laws, or divine 
command, just as the consequences in the material world are based 
upon God's laws and so-called .laws of nature. "All," says the Doc- 
trine and Covenants, "who will have, a blessing at my hands shall 
abide the law which was appointed for that blessing and the con- 
ditions thereof as they were instituted from before the foundation 
of the world." 

After this discourse, we are told that the Prophet went into the 
river and baptized about eighty persons for the remission of. their 
sins. Among them was L. D. Wasson, a nephew of the Prophet's 
wife. He was the only one of her kindred thus far who had ac- 
cepted the faith. 

"At the close of this interesting scene the Prophet lifted up 
his hands to heaven and implored the blessings of God upon the 
people, and verily the spirit of God rested upon the multitude to 
the joy and consolation of our hearts." At various times, at in- 
tervals between the meetings, large numbers received at the hands 
of the Twelve in the Temple font the ordinance of baptism for the 

During these times the emigration from England brought to 
Nauvoo a great many people. Lyman Wight had just returned 
from the East with one hundred and seventy Saints, and brought 
with him three thousand dollars worth of property for the benefit 


of the Temple and the Nauvoo House. The annual conference of 
that year was full of interest to the people, though the season was 
a rainy one. On the second day of the conference when Elder 
John Taylor was addressing the assembled multitude, other elders 
were baptizing in the font and elsewhere. Elder Woodruff and 
six others of the Twelve were ordaining elders. "We ordained 
275 elders, the most that we ever ordained in one day before in 
the Church." 

The day following conference was the funeral of Ephraim 
Marks. In the course of his remarks at the funeral, Elder Wood- 
ruff quotes the Prophet as saying: "Some have supposed that 
the Prophet Joseph could not die. This is a mistake. It is true 
there have been times when I have had the promise of my life to 
accomplish certain ends. These ends have been accomplished, 
and at present I have no lease upon my life. I am as liable to die 
as other men." 

Shortly after this we have the following quotation from a 
discourse delivered by the Prophet who addressed the people at 
the grove after William Law had spoken to them. "I wish to 
say a few words to suit the condition of the general masses, and 
I shall speak with the authority of the priesthood in the name of 
the Lord. Notwithstanding this congregation profess to be Saints, 
I stand in the midst of all kinds of characters and all classes of 
men. If you wish to go where God is, you must be like Him or 
possess the principle which He possesses. If we are not drawing 
toward God in principle, we are going from Him and drawing to- 
ward the devil. Search your hearts and see if you are like God. I 
have searched mine and I feel to repent of all my sins. We have 
among us thieves, adulterers, liars, and hypocrites. If God should 
speak from the heaven, He would command you not to steal, not 
to commit adultery, not to covet, not to deceive, but to be faith- 
ful over a few things. As far as we degenerate from God, we de- 
scend to the devil and lose our knowledge, and without knowledge 
we cannot be saved. While our hearts are filled with evil there is 
no room in them for good. Is God good? Then be ye good. If 
He is faithful, then be ye faithful. Add to your faith virtue; and 
to virtue, knowledge ; and seek for every good thing. The Church 
must be cleansed and I proclaim against all iniquity. A man is 
saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get 


knowledge he will be brought into captivity by some evil power. 
In the other world evil spirits have more knowledge and conse- 
quently more power than many men on earth have. We, there- 
fore, need revelation to assist us and give us knowledge of the 
things of God. The priests of the world cloak their iniquity by 
saying there is no more revelation. When revelation comes from 
God they are universally opposed to it, if it reveals their wicked- 
ness and abominations/' 

Turning from the work of teaching and instructing the Saints, 
we find the Prophet and the people taking part in a grand mil- 
itary parade. On the seventh of May the Nauvoo Legion of nearly 
two thousand men in uniform marched through the streets of 
Nauvoo to the inspiring strains of music by the militia band and 
under the leadership of Joseph Smith. The Prophet and the peo- 
ple were fulfilling their obligations to the state by the mainten- 
ance and discipline of a militia that did so much to become an 
honor to the people of Illinois. What they did, they did well, but 
even this citizens' duty of maintaining a splendid milita was used 
for the purpose of creating prejudice in the eyes of the people 
throughout the country. The enemies at home never lost any op- 
portunity to inflame the public mind, and to justify themselves 
therefore by the consummation of a conspiracy to encompass the 
life of the Prophet. One day some of the elders found themselves 
in martial array, the next day in the font baptizing for their kin- 
dred dead. All things the faithful sought to do for the honor and 
glory of God and for the salvation of their souls. 

On the 22nd of May that year, Elder Woodruff baptized 
George A. Smith for the restoration of the latter's health. In 
those days in performing the ordinances for the dead, men were 
baptized for women, and women for men. Later on, however, the 
Prophet was shown that in the sacred ordinances of baptism men 
and women should be baptized for their ancestors, each for his 
own sex. It seems very remarkable that in view of these temple 
ordinances men should seek to attribute the origin of these ordin- 
ances to Brigham Young. Elder Woodruff, in his journal, re- 
cords the temple work, unconscious that its practice would ever be 
questioned in generations to come. 

On the 18th of June a large congregation of Saints assem- 
bled in the grove near the Temple. "To these thousands there as- 


sembled," Elder Woodruff says, "Joseph, the prophet, arose and 
spoke in great plainness upon the corruption and wickedness of 
John C. Bennett. He also prophesied that if the merchants of 
the city and the rich did not open their hearts and contribute to 
the poor they would be cursed by the hand of God and cut off from 
the land of the living." The words of the Prophet were fulfilled. 
There had been organized an agricultural and manufacturing so- 
ciety in view of giving aid to the poor. 

On the 24th of June that year there was a meeting of the 
Nauvoo Masonic Lodge for the celebration of St. John. A num- 
ber of the leading men of the Church took part, and Sidney Rig- 
don delivered an appropriate address. All efforts to stand upon a 
common ground with the citizens generally of Nauvoo were, how- 
ever, unavailing. John C. Bennett, who had been cut off the 
Church, became vindictive and took advantage of the political con- 
ditions to create an agitation abroad against the Saints. 

About this time most of the Twelve were sent forth again 
into the world to preach the gospel. As Apostles Taylor and 
Woodruff were publishing the "Times and Seasons" they re- 
mained at home. In his work as the business manager of that 
publication he labored with his usual zeal. He speaks of a voyage 
he took down the Mississippi by steamer to purchase material in 
St. Louis. He was sick on the way and after reaching the city 
had only twenty-four hours in which to make his purchases, load 
his material on board, and begin his homeward journey. To 
accomplish this he says, "I walked till ten o'clock at night, and I 
went to bed weary and sick and in severe pain and did not sleep 
till two in the morning. I was awakened shortly after that hour 
with the bleeding of the nose, through which I must have lost a 
pint of blood. Notwithstanding my weakness from fatigue and 
loss of blood, I began work before breakfast the following morn- 
ing. In the afternoon my supplies were all on board the boat. I 
ate dinner and went to bed tired and sick. The boat left at six in 
the evening and arrived in due time at Keokuk." 

From there he went to Montrose by stage and crossed the 
river to Nauvoo, where he found "the printing press stopped for 
want of paper. Notwithstanding his impoverished physical con* 
dition, Elder Woodruff took a skiff and rowed down the river to 
the steamboat which had been delayed for five days, unable to go 


over the rapids. He obtained there sufficient paper for immediate 

Returning over the rapids he reached home about midnight, 
still in a feverish condition and suffering from a severe cold. 
"Since the boat had landed our freight and I had seen it dis- 
tributed to the several departments, I went home where I was con- 
fined to my bed and passed through the severest siege of sick- 
ness I ever had in my life/' He was confined to his room and 
most of the time to his bed for forty days. Upon his partial re- 
covery he found himself again actively engaged in his work. Dur- 
ing his recovery he was once taken by Brigham Young in his car- 
riage to attend a meeting of the Council of the Twelve. He had 
been in the house only a few minutes when his strength began to 
fail him. He lay down upon a bench and became unconscious. 
His breath ceased for a few moments, but he revived through the 
administration of his brethren. Remarkable testimonies came to 
him respecting the healing power which was then in the Church. 
Apostle Woodruff suffered much less from sickness than he did 
from his inability to meet the Prophet and to listen to the glorious 
truths which he had to impart to the brethren. 

The Prophet was then much of his time in hiding, owing to 
the accusation that he was accessory to the shooting of Governor 
Boggs and therefore wanted in Missouri. 

Those were trying times ; many of the people questioned their 
leader and the wisdom of his policy. They argued among them- 
selves that the Prophet Joseph had done nothing wrong, he had 
nothing to fear. They wanted him to clear himself with the world 
and with his enemies ; that was the honorable thing, as they saw 
it, to do. Nothing less would satisfy them. But the Prophet knew 
very well the sentiment behind those who demanded his presence 
in Missouri. The fear of the enemy was less trying to him than 
the folly of many of his brethren who were swayed by the spirit 
of the age and the peculiar sophistries of those times. They 
were sophistries as full of folly and recklessness as many that have 
prevailed in the Church since then, and are now prevalent in many 

On the 30th of October, 1842, for the first time, the Saints 
held a meeting in the Nauvoo Temple. A temporary floor was 
laid within the unfinished walls ; and about three thousand Saints, 


full of joyful anticipations, assembled to hear the Prophet of God. 
They were disappointed, as sickness and other causes prevented 
his appearance on that occasion. 

Those who were faithful and true were sad over the enforced 
absence of their leader. Steps were taken by the city council with 
the view of passing a bill granting the right of the writ of habeas 
corpus within the city. They thought such a law would be a pro- 
tection to Joseph and other leading men who were constantly har- 
rassed by their enemies without a cause. The writ of habeas 
corpus was a burning question in those days, as the liberties of 
the elders were constantly menaced. 

On the 7th of December that year, Elder Orson Hyde returned 
from his mission to Jerusalem, where he had gone by appointment 
through revelation to dedicate the Holy Land for the return of the 
Jews. After performing the mission he returned home to give an 
account of his experiences and of the country. The Holy Land 
came within the hopes, promises, and blessings of the new dispen- 
sation. The promise of its redemption had been made. Many of 
the elders rejoiced in what they hoped would be its early fulfill- 
ment. As children in their new found calling, they possessed the 
impatience of youth, and the fulfillment of God's purposes they 
hoped speedily. 

Most of the year 1842 found Elder Woodruff at home, with 
his family. He was engaged in all sorts of occupations, and his 
journal records a great variety of work. On the 19th of Septem- 
ber he had cut an acre of corn and stacked it. During the days 
immediately following he was occupied in hauling wood to his 
door. He had traveled only 450 miles that year, a modest journey 
for him. During those times he had learned to know more of the 
Prophet, more of the doctrines which he taught, and more of the 
spirit by which he was actuated. Joseph Smith, himself, was a 
revelation to President Woodruff ; he was a marvel and wonder to 
his mind. He was no less than a prophet of God, equally import- 
ant with the prophets of old ; aye ! more so. The privilege of asso- 
ciating with the Prophet of God was the most glorious opportu- 
nity of his life, and his journal contains unnumbered manifesta- 
tions of sublime satisfaction over the dispensations of his Heaven- 
ly Father. 



Change in Governors of Missouri and Illinois. — Prophet's Release. — 
Discourse on Authority. — Si^ns in the Heavens. — New Arrivals of 
Saints. — Death of Lorenzo Barnes. — Discourse on Knowledge. — 
Great Truths. — Prophet's Knowledge of Men. — Wilford Woodruff's 
Bond for Temple Funds.— Opposition to Revealed Truth.— Hell 
Defined. — Prophet Arrested. — His Release. 

Elder Woodruff celebrated New Year's day, 1843, by a 
sleigh ride over in Iowa. There he had gone fifteen miles to per- 
form a marriage ceremony in behalf of Abraham Newbury and 
Miss Eliza Duty. 

The New Year brought relief to the Prophet and to the 
Church in consequence of a political change in the governorship 
of both Missouri and Illinois. While Governors Carlin and 
Reynolds held the office of governors of these states, justice was 
beyond all hope. They* were bitter and would yield themselves 
gladly to the demands of those who were persecuting and hound- 
ing the Prophet. 

The 17th day of January was appointed by general proclam- 
ation a day of humiliation, fasting, prayer, and thanksgiving. The 
deliverance of the Prophet from the hands of his enemies and his 
return to the Saints in Nauvoo were sources of unbounded joy to 
them. Elder Woodruff met, with others, at the Prophet's home 
and took part there in friendly and brotherly greetings with 
those who welcomed the liberty and return of their leader. 

The day following, the Twelve were among those who met at 
Joseph's home where he and his wife entertained about seventy 
people. Among them were twenty men who had attended him at 
his trial in Springfield and returned with him to Nauvoo. There 
was an apparently universal joy over the outcome of his trial. 
The people in those days, however, like Israel of old associated 
certain worldly successes with their ideas of right, and misfortunes 
with their ideas of wrong. "Who hath sinned," Jesus was asked 
upon healing a man of His times, "he or his parents?" Those 
sacrifices, trioulations, trials, and persecutions accompany those 
who are valiant for their God and maintain His commandments. 


Men are prone, nevertheless, to attribute worldly misfortunes to 
wrong doing even though men suffer m the performance of some 
God-given requirement. * 

While Joseph was driven from his home and affairs into se- 
clusion, and persecuted and afflicted by his enemies, there were 
those who were ready to listen to the sophistries and cunning 
arguments of the hypocrite and the Pharisee in their midst. 
In his absence and in his seclusion the powerfulness of his per- 
sonalty was not so strongly felt, and the evil inclinations of men 
found opportunities for gratification and justification. Now that 
he had returned to their midst, free to preach, and free to rebuke, 
there was rejoicing among even those who have no higher con- 
ception of divine purposes than to associate worldly success with 
God's favors and misfortune with His displeasure. 

On the 22nd of January, 1843, at the Nauvoo Temple the 
Prophet delivered a discourse to the multitude present. Elder 
Woodruff, ever faithful to his mission as a journalist of early 
Church history, gives a synopsis of the discourse from which 
the following is taken: "In consequence of rejecting the gos- 
pel of Jesus Christ and the prophets whom God hath sent, His 
judgments have rested upon peoples, states, and nations in various 
ages of the world. This was the case with the cities of Sodom 
and Gomorah which were destroyed for rejecting prophets. 

"I will now give my testimony. I care not what man can 
do. I speak boldly and faithfully and with authority. Where 
there is no Kingdom of God there is no salvation. Where there 
is a prophet, or a priest, or a righteous man unto whom the Lord 
gives His oracles, there is the Kingdom. Where the oracles are 
not, the Kingdom of God is not. In these remarks I make no 
allusion to the kingdoms of the earth. We will keep the laws of 
the land ; we do not speak against them, nor have we ever done so. 
We can scarcely make mention of the State of Missouri and our 
persecutions there without a cry going forth that we are guilty 
of treason. We speak of the Kingdom of God on the earth and 
not of the kingdoms of man. 

"The plea of many is that we have no right to receive 
revelations, but if we do not receive revelations we do not 
have the oracles of God, and they who do not have His 
oracles are not His people. You ask'. 'What will become 


of the world and the various professors of religion who do 
not believe in revelation and in the oracles of God as con- 
tained in His Church in the ages of the world when he had a 
people upon the earth ?' I tell you in the name of Jesus Christ, 
they will be damned, and when you get into the eternal world you 
will find it so. They cannot escape the damnation of hell. 

"As touching the gospel and baptism of John, I would say 
that John came preaching the gospel for the remisson of sins. 
He had authority from God, and his oracles were with him, and the 
Kingdom for a season seemed to rest with John alone. He was 
a legal administrator. Those who were baptized were subjects 
for the Kingdom. The laws and oracles of God were there; so 
also was the Kingdom of God. No man could have better auth- 
ority to administer than John, and even the Savior Himself sub- 
mitted to that authority by being baptized of John. John was a 
priest after the order of Aaron and held the keys of that priest- 
hood. He came forth preaching repentance and baptism for the 
remission of sins, but at the same time crying: 'There cometh 
one after me mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoe I am not 
worthy to unloose/ Christ came, according to the word of John. 
He was greater than John because he held the keys of the Mel- 
chizedek priesthood and the Kingdom of God, and had before 
revealed the priesthood to Moses. Jesus says in his teachings: 
'Upon this rock will I build my Church and the gates of hell 
shall not prevail against it/ What rock? The rock of revelation. 
Yet Christ was baptized by John to fulfill all righteousness. He 
says, 'Except ye are born of the water and of the spirit ye can- 
not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; though the heavens and 
the earth pass away my word shall not pass away/ If a man be 
born of the water and the spirit he can enter into the Kingdom 
of God. It is evident that the Kingdom of God was upon the 
earth and that John prepared subjects for that Kingdom by 
preaching the gospel and by baptizing them. He preached the 
same gospel and baptism that Jesus and the apostles preached 
after him. 

"The endowment of Pentecost was to prepare the disciples 
for their mission in the world. Whenever a man can find out the 
will of God and find an administrator legally authorized from 
Him, there is the Kingdom of God; but where these are not, 


there the Kingdom of God is not. All the ordinances, systems, 
and administrations on the earth are of no use to the children 
of men unless they are ordained and authorized of God. None 
others will be acknowledged either by God or by angels. 

"I know what I say, I understand my mission, God almighty 
is my shield and what can man do if He is my friend. / shall not 
be sacrificed until my time comes, then I shall be offered freely. 
I thank the Lord for delivering me from my enemies. I have 
no enmity, I have no desire but to do all men good. I feel to pray 
for all men. We do not ask people to throw away any good 
which they have, we only ask them to come and receive more. 
What if all the world should embrace this gospel? We should 
then see eye to eye and the blessings of God would be poured out 
upon the people, which is my whole soul's desire. Amen." 

We are not informed whether there were present men and 
women ready to criticize this address as a want of discretion in 
the Prophet for the use of such language. No doubt there were. 
He had just gotten out of trouble and they, no doubt, argued, 
why should he use language that would bring upon him more 
trouble. The Prophet was not thinking of trouble; he was not 
occupied in selecting the most discreet words. He had a mission 
that put upon him obligations; come what may, these obligations 
must be fulfilled. He was not concerned so much about his 
personal welfare and safety as he was about the welfare and 
salvation of mankind. 

Not long after this, on the 10th of March, Elder Woodruff 
gives an account of peculiar signs which he witnessed in the 
heavens. The occurrence took place about seven o'clock in the 
evening and lasted for about three hours. There was a stream of 
light in the form of a drawn broadsword with the hilt down- 
ward and the blade pointing upward from the southeast at 
an angle of 45 degrees. This sign appeared for five successive 
evenings. On the evening of the 14th it moved to a position near 
the moon. It then formed itself into a large ring on the inside 
of which appeared balls of light, something like sundogs. An- 
other half ring issued from these balls in the shape of a horse- 
shoe. They extended outside of the ring with one line running 
through the center of the moon. Of this manifestation he quotes 
the Prophet as saying: "As sure as there is a God who sits in the 


heavens, and as sure as He ever spoke by my mouth, there will be a 
bloody war; and the broadsword sign in the heavens is a sign 

Several days later other remarkable signs were seen in the 
heavens. Orson Pratt, professor of mathematics in the Univer- 
sity of Nauvoo, sketched a diagram of the halos and perihelion, 
or circles ; and mock suns were discovered in the heavens on the 
morning of March 23rd, 1843 ; there were still other signs. As in 
the case of the sword there was seen on the opposite side of the 
horizon a streak of blackness, the other appeared like the blaze of 
a comet. 

During these times the river banks along Nauvoo presented 
busy scenes. The city was full of activity and was constantly en- 
larging by reason of the emigration from abroad. On the 12th 
and 13th of March steamboats landed at Nauvoo bringing 480 
Saints, 250 of these wintered in St. Louis. Parley P. Pratt 
and Dr. Levi Richards were among the returning elders. Many 
of the Saints were old acquaintances of President Woodruff 
who hailed them with delight and they in turn were happy to meet 
again the man who had first brought the gospel to them. They 
were made welcome by the authorities and the Saints in Nauvoo. 
The day after their arrival, they were addressed in public as- 
sembly by the Prophet. 

About this time word came that Elder Lorenzo Barnes, then 
a missionary of the Church, had died in a foreign land. Speak- 
ing of the death of Elder Barnes, the prophet, in a discourse de- 
livered on the 16th of April in reference to Elder Barnes, said: 
"I should have been more reconciled to the death of Elder Barnes 
could his body have been laid in the grave in Nauvoo or among the 
Saints. I have very peculiar feelings in the matter of receiving an 
honorable burial with my fathers. The ancient Saints were very 
particular about their burial places. Joseph, before his death, 
made his kindred promise to carry his bones to the land of Canaan, 
and they did so. They embalmed his body and buried him with 
his fathers. There is a blessing in such a privilege which many 
do not comprehend; still it is true that in the resurrection the 
Saints will all rise to meet the Lord and they will all be brought 
together thougn their bodies be scattered on the face of the whole 


"I wish the Saints to be comforted by the thought of the 
victory they will gain through the resurrection. The thought is 
sufficient to encourage the Saints to overcome obstacles in the 
midst of their trial, trouble, and tribulation. Though the thun- 
ders roar and the earthquakes roar or bellow; though lightnings 
flash and war be on every hand, suffer not a joint to tremble nor 
let your hearts faint for the great Eloheim will deliver you. If 
you are not delivered before the resurrection, you will be set free 
by it from all those things and from pain, sorrow, and death. 

"I have labored hard and endeavored in every way to pre- 
pare this people to comprehend the things which God is un- 
folding to me. He hath given me a vision of the resurrection of 
the dead and I saw the graves open, and the Saints, as they 
rose, took each other by the hand and great joy and glory rested 
upon them." 

On the 19th of that month Elder Woodruff with Brigham 
Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Orson Prau, and Wil- 
liam Smith were appointed to missions in the East for the purpose 
of holding i conferences and gathering funds for the completion 
of the Temple. Others were appointed to missions in England, 
and Addison Pratt, with three others, was called to carry the 
gospel to the Sandwich Islands. 

May 14th a meeting was held in Lima where the Prophet ad- 
dressed those present, among whom was Elder Woodruff. 
He records in his journal the following from the discourse 
of the Prophet: "It is not wisdom that we should have all 
knowledge presented to us at once, but a little at a time that 
we may. comprehend it. The principle of knowledge is the 
principle of salvation. Any one who will not receive knowledge 
to be saved will be damned. The principle of salvation is given 
to us through the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Salvation is noth- 
ing more nor less than the triumph over all our enemies in this 
world and over all evil spirits in the world to come. In the 
case of Jesus Christ He was to reign until He had put all enemies 
under His feet, and the last enemy was death. 

"There is a principle here that few men have thought of. 
No person can have this salvation except through a tabernacle. 
In this world men are naturally selfish and ambitious. They strive 
to excel, yet some are willing to build up others as well as 


themselves. In the other world there is a variety of spirits, some 
of whom also seek to excel. This was the case with the devil 
when he fell. He was seeking things which were unlawful, he 
was, therefore, cast down and it is said that he carried away 
many with him. His punishment is great in. that he is not per- 
mitted to have a tabernacle. Lucifer, planning to overthrow 
the decree of God, goeth up and down the earth seeking whom 
he may destroy. Any person who will yield to him, he will bind and 
take into possesson his body and reign therein and glorify him- 
self, forgetting that he has not a body of his own. By and by 
some one comes along having divine authority and casts him out 
and restores the tabernacle to its rightful owner." 

Speaking upon the 19th verse, first chapter of Second Peter 
which reads: u We have also a more sure word of prophecy: 
whereunto ye do well that ye take heed as unto the light that 
shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn of the day star arises 
in your hearts/' The Prophet said: "There is a grand secret 
here and a key that unlocks. Notwithstanding the apostle exhorts 
them to add to their faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance,' and 
so forth, he still exhorts them to make their calling and election 
sure. Though they had heard the audible voice from heaven 
bearing testimony that Jesus was the Son of God, yet they have a 
more sure prophecy. Wherein could they have a more sure 
word of prophecy than to hear the voice of God saying, 'This 
is my beloved Son?' This would be no evidence that their calling 
and election were made sure, that they do have a part with Christ 
and be a joint heir with Him. They would need that more sure 
word of prophecy that they were sealed in the heavens, and had the 
promise of eternal life in the Kingdom of God. Having this 
promise sealed unto them it was an anchor to their souls, sure 
and steadfast. This knowledge would support the soul in their 
hour of trial and tribulation. 

''Knowledge through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is 
the grand key which unlocks the glorious mysteries of the King- 
dom. Compare this principle of knowledge with Christendom 
at the present time, and what becomes of their religion and 
piety. Christendom is crying out against prophets and apostles, 
angels, visions, and revelations; it is ripening for the damnation 
of hell, for it rejects the most glorious principle of the gospel 


of Jesus Christ; it rejects and disdains the key which unlocks 
the Heavens and puts into our possession the glories of the 
celestial world. The men of Christendom with all their pro- 
fessed Godliness will be damned unless they repent and turn unto 
the Lord. I would exhort you, then, to call upon God until you 
make your calling and election sure by obtaining this more sure 
word of prophecy and wait patiently until you obtain it." 

These words contained no element of compromise. The lan- 
guage of the Prophet could not be mistaken. He was much less 
concerned about his personal liberty than about delivering the mes- 
sage which he had to give to the world. 

Whatever the Prophet said was always of deep significance 
to the mind of Elder Woodruff, and he recorded the private 
sayings of his leader with the same fidelity that he recorded his 
public discourses. After the meeting where the discourse above 
mentioned was delivered, he took supper with the Prophet and oth- 
ers at the home of Calvin Beebe. In this social pastime the Proph- 
et gave utterance to sentiments and ideas which he entertained 
The following quotations from the Prophet find a place in Elder 
Woodruff's journal: 

"The way to get along in any important matter is to call to 
yourself wise men, men of experience and age to give counsel 
in times of trouble." 

"Handsome men are not usually wise and strong-minded. The 
strength of a strong-minded man will create coarse features 
like the rough, strong bough of the oak." 

"You may adways discover in the first glance at a man, in the 
outline of his features, something of his mind." 

"Excitement has almost become the essence of my life, when 
it dies away I feel almost lost. When a man is reigned up con- 
tinually he becomes strong and gains knowledge and power; but 
when he relaxes for a season he loses much of his power." 

"In all matters, whether temporal or spiritual, preaching the 
gospel or leading an army to battle, victory almost entirely de- 
pends upon moderation and good discipline. Let no confusion 
seize your breast, act firmly, strike a heavy blow, and conquer." 

"A man can bear a heavy burden by practice and by continu- 
ing to increase it." 

"The inhabitants of this continent were so constituted, that 






is, were so determined and persevering in their righteousness or 
wickedness, that God visited them immediately, either with great 
judgment or blessings." 

"If the present generation receive any assistance from God, 
they will have to obtain it by faith." 

In the midst of his missionary activites, Apostle Woodruff 
began the construction of a new home. During all the years 
of his labor in the Church he had been without a home of his 
own. His unselfish devotion to the work of the Church and the 
circumstances with which he was surrounded led his brethren to 
encourage him in the erection of a house for his family. He took 
up the work with the same heart-felt enthusiasm that he gave to 
every undertaking. The home, when finished, was, for those 
days, modest and respectable. It stands to-day in Nauvoo with 
the homes of other leading brethren of those times in a fairly 
good state of preservation. 

"On the 27th of May," he says, "the Twelve and the First 
Presidency met to try Benjamin Winchester for slandering the 
Saints in Philadelphia and for rejecting the counsel of the Lord 
given through His servants. His license to preach was taken away 
and he was required to repent or lose his standing in the Church." 
Speaking of this circumstance the subject of this biography says, 
"Hyrum pled for mercy; Joseph, for right; and the Twelve de- 
cided according to the testimony." During the trial, the Prophet 
gave the following instructions : "In all your counsels, especially 
where you have cases to try, observe the spirit relating to the 
subject, and discern the spirit by which either party is governed. 
The council should not be imposed upon by any unruly con- 

"The Saints need not think because I am familiar and cheer- 
ful with them that I am ignorant of what is going on. Iniquity 
of any kind cannot be retained in the Church and it will not 
fare well where I am ; for I am determined that while I lead the 
Church to lead it aright." 

Before taking their departure on their missions to gather 
funds for the erection of the Temple, they each gave a bond in 
the sum of two thousand dollars for the faithful performance 
of their duties in making a strict return to the trustee-in-trust 
of all funds collected by them. There had been much false ac- 



cusation and comment about the use of funds contributed for the 
erection of the Temple. These funds not only placed the Twelve 
under financial obligations, but did what was of perhaps more con- 
sequence, gave assurance to those who made contributions that 
their money would be strictly accounted for. The bond given by 
Elder Woodruff was signed by Aaron Johnson as bondsman. 

"To all the Saints and honorable men of the earth greeting: 
Dear Brethren and Friends, — 

"I, Joseph Smith, a servant of the Lord and Trustee-in-Trust 
for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, do hereby 
certify that the bearer hereof, Wilford Woodruff, an elder and one 
of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- 
day Saints, has deposited with me his bond and security to my 
full satisfaction according to the resolution of the conference held 
in this city on the 6th day of April, 1843. 

"He, therefore, is recommended to all Saints and honorable 
people as legal agent to collect funds for the purpose of build- 
ing the Nauvoo House and Temple of the Lord. 

"Confident that he will honor this high trust as well as 
ardently fulfill his commission as a messenger of peace and sal- 
vation as one of the Lord's noble men, I can fervently say, may 
the Lord clear his way before him and bless him and bless those 
that obey his teachings wherever there are ears to hear and hearts 
to feel. 

"He is, in the language of the Hebrews, 'The friend of 
Israel/ and worthy to be received and entertained as a man of 
God. Yea he has (as had the ancient apostles) the good word 
that leadeth unto. Eternal Life. 

"Wherefore, brethren and friends, while you hear the assur- 
ance of the integrity, fidelity, and ability of this servant of the 
living God I trust that your he'arts and energies will be enlivened 
and deeply engaged in the building of these houses directed by 
revelation for the salvation of all Saints and that you will not rest 
where you are until all things are prepared before you and you 
are gathered home with the rest of Israel to meet your God. I feel 
strong in the belief and have a growing expectation that you will 
not withhold any means in your power that can be used to ac- 
complish this glorious work. 


"Finally, as one that greatly desires the salvation of man, 
let me remind you all to strive with a Godly zeal for virtue, holi- 
ness, and the commandments of the Lord. Be wise, be just, 
be liberal, and above all be charitable, ever abounding in all 
good works, and may health, peace, and the love of God our 
Father and the grace of Jesus Christ be and abide with you all 
is the sincere prayer of 
, Your devoted Brother and Friend in the Everlasting Gospel, 

Joseph Smith. 
City of Nauvoo 

June 1st, 1843." 

On the 11th of June there was a meeting of the Saints in 
the Temple wherein the Prophet addressed those present upon 
various subjects such as baptism for the dead, spirits in prison, 
different degrees of glory, and the Godhead. The Temple ordi- 
nances were occupying the Prophet's mind and he was urging 
strenuously the completion of the Temple. To its sacred ordi- 
nances he attached the highest importance, and, indeed, he de- 
clared them necessary to a fulness of the glory of God. He began 
by reading the words of Jesus: "O!- Jerusalem, Jerusalem, 
how oft would I have gathered thy children together, even 
as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would 
not." "The main purpose in gathering the people of God was to 
build unto the Lord a house wherein He could reveal to them the 
ordinances and glories of His Kingdom. There are certain ordi- 
nances and principles which were taught and practiced which 
must be done in a temple of the Lord built for that purpose. 
This was ordained in the mind of God before the world was and 
through this purpose the Lord designed the gathering of the 
Jews, but they rebelled against Him. For the same reason the 
Lord gathers His Saints in the last days. One of the ordinances 
of the House of the Lord is baptism for the dead. God de- 
creed before the foundation of the world that this ordinance 
should be administered in a house prepared for that purpose. 
If a man obtains the fullness of the gospel, he must do as Jesus 
did by keeping all the ordinances of the House of the Lord. 

"Men will say, T will never forsake you but will stand by 
you at all tmes/ yet the moment you teach them some of the 


mysteries retained in the heavens to be revealed in the last days 
they are ready to stone you and put you to death. It was the 
same spirit which crucified our Savior. The doctrine of baptism 
for the dead is clearly shown in the New Testament, and if the 
doctrine is not good then throw away the book; but if it is the 
Word of the Lord, let the doctrine be acknowledged as coming 
from Him. 

"In regard to the spirits in prison much has been said, espe- 
cially regarding the words of the Savior to the thief on the cross : 
'To-day thou shalt be with Me in paradise/ The translators and 
commentators make Jesus say, 'paradise.' This is a modern word 
and does not answer at all to the original which Jesus used. There 
is nothing in the original of any language signifying 'paradise.' 
It should be, 'To-day thou shalt be with Me in the spirit world.' 
He did not say 'paradise or heaven. 1 

"Much has been said about the word 'hell.' But what is hell? 
It is another modern term. It is taken from Hades, the Greek, 
or Sheol, the Hebrew, and its true meaning is 'world of spirits.' 
The words 'Hades,' 'Sheol/ 'paradise,' and 'spirits in prison,' are 
used in the Scripture as one word. The righteous and the wicked 
all go to the same world -of spirits. 'I believe,' says one, 'in one 
heaven and one hell. All are equally happy or equally miserable.' 
Yet Paul speaks of three glories : 'celestial, terrestial, telestial ;' 
and the Savior says that in His Father's house there are 'many 
mansions.' Paul says he knew a man caught up to the 'third 

"The world believes that the Godhead physically is all em- 
bodied in the Lord Jesus Christ, but this is not true. Peter and 
Stephen say that Jesus sat on the right hand of God, and any 
person who has seen the heavens opened knows that there are 
three personages in the heavens holding the keys of power. As the 
Father hath power in Himself so also hath the Son power in Him- 
self. Then the Father has at some time laid down His body and 
taken it again ; so He has a body of His own, so also has the Son. 

"The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, and if a 
man claimed to have that testimony and yet denied the spirit and 
principle of revelation and prophets, he is damned by his own 
mouth. A man may be happy in the frelief that Jesus Christ is. 
God, and yet not obey His commandments. A man of God should 


be endowed with wisdom, knowledge, and understanding in order 
to teach and lead the people. The blind may lead the blind and 
both fall in the ditch together. 

"I will ask this assembly and all the Saints if tney will build 
this house and receive the ordinances and blessings which the 
Lord has in store for them, or will they not, but let Him pass by 
and bestow His blessings upon another ?" 

Passing from the mysteries and glories of the Godhead, Elder 
Woodruff makes record of his work upon a plot of prairie land 
which he was bringing under cultivation. In all of his thoughts 
and labors, whether secular or spiritual, he sustained the same 
lofty inspiration. When he preached,he preached in the name of the 
Lord, when he plowed, he plowed for the glory of God's Kingdom. 
All that he said and all that he did was to him but a united whole in 
the dispensation of God's purposes. Life to him, in its highest 
and best sense, was the fulfillment of the Divine will. Wherever 
he was, whatever he was doing, he was thinking of his Maker with 
whom he worked, walked, and talked in this life. It was all 
glorious, it was all a part of God's decree. Work of the hands 
was with him a great privilege and he never let an opportunity 
pass by to exercise his body, and he rejoiced in the opportunity 
to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. How could he think 
of work as a drudgery, how others could look upon it as such 
was incomprehensible to him. Being always ready to put his 
hand to the plow, he found many opportunities in the course of a 
long life to gratify his passion for work. 

The joy and peace of toil on his prairie farm were not left 
long uninterrupted. The Saints were constantly disturbed by the 
never ceasing demands made by the Governor of Missouri for 
the body of the Prophet. The chief executive of that state made 
another call on the Governor of Illinois to deliver Joseph to the 
state of Missouri. The Prophet was twenty miles away from 
home when information reached him. 

On Sunday, June 25th, Hyrum Smith came into a meeting 
and requested the Masonic Fraternity there to meet him in the 
lodge room within half an hour. It was an occasion of great ex- 
citement. When the members of the lodge convened, the people, 
who were full of anxiety, also gathered. Not a fourth of them 
could secure entrance to the house. They thereupon formed in 


a hollow square upon the green and Hyrum conveyed to them the 
information that Joseph had already been arrested with drawn 
pistols, by Wilson of Carthage and Reynolds of Missouri. Steph- 
en Markham went courageously to the Prophet's assistance and 
threatened to knock their pistols down, but they pointed their 
pistols at the Prophet and threatened if he did so to kill the Prophet 
and he therefore desisted. They took Joseph to Carthage and 
then started for Missouri. "They had gone about ten miles," 
says Elder Woodruff, "when they were stopped by citizens in the 
country who swore they should not take Joseph Smith any farth- 
er without giving him a hearing before the law. Writ of 
habeas corpus was taken out in behalf of Joseph and against 
sheriffs Reynolds and Wilson. A company was then called for to 
go to the Prophet and to see that he had his rights. Hyrum called 
for volunteers and the whole city spoke together in response. A 
choice was then made of about a hundred mounted men under the 
command of Generals Law and Charles C. Rich. Besides the 
mounted men about one hundred went down the river by steam- 
boat, The Maid of Iowa. 

"Five days later at one p. m., the citizens of Nauvoo went 
out in great numbers on horseback, on foot, and in carriages to 
meet the Prophet. The whole scene was a demonstration of great 
joy. He was escorted home by a band of music and by the great 
multitude that had gone out to meet him. Reynolds of Missouri, 
and Wilson of Carthage, who had taken him by force of arms, 
were brought to Nauvoo with him. They looked as though they 
had the ague. The Prophet, however, heaped upon their heads 
coals of fire by reason of the great kindness he showed them. They 
had treated him inhumanely, and in return they were taken to the 
Prophet's home, seated at the head of the table and treated to the 
best his home afforded. Joseph's wife, who had been denied by 
these men the privilege of seeing her husband after his arrest, 
treated them with the utmost kindness. After dinner they re- 
paired to the court room where Joseph was delivered to the muni- 
cipal court for trial. Before he went into the court he mounted 
a wagon and spoke to the assembled multitude. 'I am out of the 
hands of the Missourians, thank God !' He thanked the people 
for their kindness and love to him. He said he would address 
them at four p. m. in the grove near the Temple. At that hour 


nearly seven thousand people assembled full of Joyful anticipa- 
tion in the thought of hearing the words that should fall from 
their Prophet's lips." 

These were, indeed, exciting times ; the depths of the human 
soul were reached by the constant recurrences of the joys and 
sorrows of those times. Anxiety, however, rested upon the Saints. 
They could feel the increasing spirit of opposition ; its murderous 
intent was more fully revealed to them as time went on. Their 
joys were constantly broken by the- sorrows that were ever in- 
creasing and the dangers that constantly threatened their peace 
of mind. They felt the approach of a coming storm that might 
do irreparable harm to their peace of mind as well as to their 
piiysical well oeing. The hearts of the more faithful men were sad- 
dened by both the growing demands and the increasing power of 
the enemy. The thought that the evil one was gaining power over 
them saddened their lives, and their only support and courage 
came from the assurance they had in the ultimate trtampn of God's 
purposes. The lessons of their sadness and the admonition that 
comes to us through the gloom of those days have been our gain. 
Assurance of God's deliverance in the past has always been help- 
ful to men and women in the support of their faith ; what a tender 
and loving God in the consummation of His purposes had once 
done, He would do again. In all those trials there was greater 
buoyancy in the life of the Prophet whose death was sought by his 
enemies than in the lives of any other men of those times. He 
was their leader, the hope and assurance of his words inspired 
others with confidence in his leadership. He was their guiding 
star, and while his life lasted, its brilliancy eclipsed the lights of 
all those about him. They knew that he was not a fallen Prophet. 
There was no tremor in his voice ; he never faltered by the way- 
side. He stood up in the midst of his high and holy calling and 
rebuked sin and sinners. It was a marvelous life, every detail 
of which grows in importance as time goes on, and the greatness 
of the Church affords the highest guarantee of the fulfillment 
of the glorious predictions he made concerning it — thanks to the 
pen of Wilford Woodruff. It gives us deeper and better insight 
not only into the spirit of those times but into the life of the man, 
who, as days go on, is becoming more and more a glorification of 
the age in which he lived. 



Address of the Prophet on Constitutional Rights. — Orson Hyde's Call 
to Russia. — Prophet Explains His Position with Respect to Mis- 
souri. — Origin of Nauvoo Legion. — Political Explanation. — Depar- 
ture of the Twelve for the East. — Brigham Young's Fidelity. — 
Phrenological Chart by O. S. Fowler. — Return of the Twelve to Nau- 
voo. — W. W. Sealed to Wife. — Adultery.-^Governor of Missouri 
Again Issues Requisition for Prophet. — Endowments. 

The people of Nauvoo during these exciting times were great- 
ly agitated over the safety of their Prophet and leader. In keeping 
with his promise, Joseph Smith addressed the assembled multitude 
who anxiously awaited the words which were to fall from his lips. 
There were no stenographic reporters then, and Wilford Wood- 
ruff's account of what was said is without doubt the fullest and 
most accurate statement on record. The following is taken from 
his journal, wherein he recorded the words of the prophet: "I 
meet you with a heart full of gratitude to Almighty God, and you 
doubtless feel as I do. I hardly know how to express my feelings. 
I feel as strong as a giant. I pulled sticks with the men com- 
ing along, and with one hand I pulled up the strongest man on 
the road, and two could not pull me up. I continued to pull till I 
pulled them to Nauvoo. Notwithstanding the excitement, I feel 
cool and dispassionate through it all. Thank God I am now in 
the hands of those who preside over the municipal court, not in 
the hands of the Missourians. Relative to our right of habeas cor- 
pus we have full power. If there is not power in our charter and 
courts, then there is none in the state of Illinois, nor in Congress, 
nor in the constitution of the United States. Congress gave to 
Illinois her constitution, and Illinois has given to Nauvoo the 
charter which protects us in our vested rights. 

"I want you to learn, O Israel ! what is for the happiness and 
peace of this city and its people. Our enemies are determined to 
oppress us and deprive us of our rights and privileges as they 
have done in the past. If the authorities on earth will not give us 
that protection which the laws and the constitution of the United 


States and of this state guarantee, then we will appeal to a higher 
power, to heaven, to God Almighty, for our constitutional rights. 

"The Lord, in my past troubles has raised up friends to me, 
though they were strangers, and they would have lost their lives 
to deliver me from my enemies and to protect my rights in this 
state. I have told them to do no violence for I should be deliv- 
ered by the power of God. I have brought the men who arrested 
me to Nauvoo, and I have treated them kindly. I have had the 
privilege of rewarding them, good for evil. They took me un- 
lawfully, treated me rigorously, strove to deprive me of my 
right and would have carried me into Missouri to be murdered 
had not Providence interposed. Now they are in my hands. I 
took them into my home, set them at the head of the table, and 
placed before them the best that my home afforded. They were 
waited upon by my wife whom they deprived of seeing me when 
I was taken. 

"There is a time, however, when forbearance ceases and when 
suffering longer without resistance is a sin. I shall not bear it any 
longer, I will spill the last drop of blood I have rather than endure 
it ; and all who feel that they will not bear it any longer say, 'Aye/ 
The vast assembly shouted, 'Aye.' Whatever may be your feeling 
about the heavy hand of oppression I wish you to restrain yourself 
from violence against those men who have arrested me. My word 
is at stake, a hair of their heads shall not be harmed. 

"My life is pledged to carry out this great work , I know you 
are ever ready to do right, you have done great things and you 
have manifested your love for me in rushing to my assistance on 
this occasion, and I bless you in the name of the Lord. I know 
the Almighty will bless all good men, and may you not have to 
suffer as I have suffered heretofore. However, I shall restrain 
you no longer, from this time forth. If occasion require I will 
lead you to battle, if you are not afraid to die and to spill your 
blood in your own defense you will not offend me. Be not the 
aggressor. Bear until they strike you on one cheek and then of- 
fer the other. They will be sure to strike that also ; then defend 
yourself and God will bear you off victorious. If I am under the 
necessity of giving up our chartered rights, privileges, and free- 
dom for which our fathers fought and bled, and which the consti- 


tution of the United States as well as this state grants to us, I will 
do it at the point of the bayonet and sword. 

"Many lawyers contend for that which is against the rights of 
men, and I can only excuse them because of their ignorance. Go 
forth, O ye lawyers ! and advocate the rights of the people, for we 
shall rise up Washington-like and break off the fetters which bind 
us and we shall not be mobbed." 

After discussing at some length the charter of Nauvoo and 
the writ of habeas corpus, he gave an interesting account of his 
recent arrest and of the return to Nauvoo. He explained that 
he had prophesied to his wife the day before his presence in the 
neighborhood, where the people befriended him, that they were a 
good people, and that he knew it by the spirit of God. ''When 
Mr. Cyrus Walker, an attorney, came to me, those who had ar- 
rested me said that I should speak to no man and they would 
shoot any man who spoke to me. An old man came up and said 
that I should have counsel and told them he was not afraid of 
their pistols. My freedom began from that time." 

Speaking of the law, the Prophet said : "Almighty God has 
taught me the true principle of law and the true meaning of the 
writ of habeas corpus. It is to protect the innocent and to pre- 
vent innocent men from being dragged into other states and from 
being punished by the avowed enemy. 

"It did my soul good to witness the manifestation of your 
feelings and love toward me. I thank God I have the honor to 
lead so virtuous and honest a people, to be your, law-giver as 
Moses was to the children of Israel. Hosanna ! Hosanna ! Hosan- 
na ! to the most high God ! I commend you to His grace and may 
the blessings of Heaven rest upon you, I ask it in the name of 
Jesus Christ. Amen." 

July 1st the trial of the Prophet came off. There were pres- 
ent Brigham Young, Hyrum Smith, Parley P. Pratt, Lyman 
Wight, and Sidney Rigdon. They were all called as witnesses and 
duly sworn. They recounted the history of the Missouri perse- 
cutions from the time they were driven from Jackson County un- 
til their expulsion from Far West by force of arms. "The recital 
of these scenes," says President Woodruff, "caused my blood to 
boil and the spirit of war was awakened in me, even the Gentile 


lawyers were shocked, and in their speeches counseled the people 
to stand by their rights whatever the issue might be." 

The Fourth of July was at hand and great preparations had 
been made for its celebration. About fifteen thousand people as- 
sembled in the grove. Orson Hyde addressed the vast multitude. 
He had lately returned from Palestine, and was then under ap- 
pointment to carry the gospel to Saint Petersburg, Russia. In 
the afternoon the multitude of Saints was greatly augmented by 
three steamboat loads of visiting ladies and gentlemen from St. 
Louis, Quincy, and Burlington. As the visitors arrived they were 
escorted to the stand by the Nauvoo band, and their presence 
welcomed by the firing of cannon. Parley P. Pratt spoke at some 
length, and was followed by the Prophet Joseph, who took this 
occasion to speak of himself. Elder Woodruff quotes him as fol- 
lows : 

"If the people will give ear a moment, I will address a few 
words in my own defense. In the first place I will state to those 
who can hear me that I never spent more than six months in Mis- 
souri except the time I was in prison. While at Liberty, Missouri, 
I was at work for the support of my family. I never was a pris- 
oner of war during my stay there, for I had not made war. I 
never took a gun ; nor a pistol, nor a sword and what has been 
said by our enemies on that 'subject is false. I have always been 
willing to go to any governor, judge, or tribunal where justice 
could be had and have the matter investigated. I could not have 
committed treason as I had no control of affairs except in spir- 
itual matters. I was driven from Missouri by force of arms 
under the exterminating order of Governor Boggs. I have always 
been a peaceable citizen, yet there is scarcely a crime that can be 
committed that is not laid at the door of Joseph Smith. I have 
been dragged before the courts time and again on charges that 
were false and every time I have been acquitted. As often as 
God sees fit for me to suffer I am ready, but I am as innocent of 
those crimes imputed as the angels in heaven. I am not an en- 
emy to mankind, neither am I an enemy to Missouri, its gover- 
nor, nor its people. 

"As for the military station I hold and the reasons for hold- 
ing it I have this to say : When we came here the state required 
us to bear arms and to do military duty. As the Church had just 


been driven from Missouri and our people had been robbed of 
their property and their arms had been taken from them, they, 
therefore, had no arms with which to do duty, yet they were liable 
to a fine if they did not respond to the orders of the state in the 
matter of military service even though they had no arms. I advised 
them to . organize into independent companies and to ask the 
state for arms. This they did. There were, however, many elders 
who had license to preach. They are exonerated by the law from 
military duties. The officers, however, would not release them on 
those grounds. I then told the Saints that although I was free 
from military duty by law in consequence of a lameness in one of 
my legs I would set them an example and do military duty myself. 
They wanted me for their leader. From these circumstances and 
conditions the Nauvoo Legion came into existence and I was 
made Lieutenant General. It was not because I was seeking for 

"There are those who say we all vote together and that our 
people vote as I say, but I never tell any man how to vote nor 
whom to vote for. Let me make a comparison. Suppose there 
were a Methodist society here, and that outside of that society 
there were two candidates running for office. One of them says : 
Tf you will elect me to the gubernatorial chair I will take away 
the charter of your city and exterminate the Methodists/ The 
other says : Tf I am elected all men shall be equal before the 
law, and I will discriminate against no man or society.' Now 
whom would the Methodists vote for ? Certainly not for the man 
who was their bitter enemy and who would not protect them in 
their rights. It has been so with us. Joseph Duncan said if the . 
people would elect him he would exterminate the Mormons, take 
away their charter. Mr. Ford made no such threats, but mani- 
fested a disposition to give every man his rights. The people, 
therefore, voted for him and he was elected governor. However, 
he has issued writs against me twice at the demands of the Mis- 
sourians ; this has caused me much trouble and expense.' ' 

During these remarks much prejudice was removed. There 
was present a vast multitude of about fifteen thousand people, 
many of whom were not members of the Church. They gave the 
strictest attention and were edified by what they saw and heard. 


On the morning of July 7th, 1843, Wilford Woodruff rose 
early, blessed his wife and daughter, Phoebe, and in company with 
Brigham Young and Elder George A. Smith, started on a mis- 
sion to the East to strengthen the branches of the Church there 
and gather funds for the Temple and the Nauvoo House. They 
left Morrison's landing on the steamer Rapid and arrived in 
St. Louis the next day. Here Elder Woodruff purchased^ sup- 
plies for the 'Times and Seasons" and shipped them to Nauvoo. 
The day following the missionary party boarded the steamer 
Lancet and went up the Ohio to Cinncinnati, where they landed 
on the 13th, their sixth day from Nauvoo. Enroute they obtained 
a view of the tomb of President Harrison. 

On the night of their arrival in Cincinnati, Elder Woodruff 
dreamed that Joseph would again be arrested and tried in Illinois, 
and the same night Brigham Young dreamed that the Twelve 
were called home. These dreams were the preparation for coming 
events which cast their shadows before. The hearts of those 
brave men and devoted missionaries were receiving a preparation 
for the troublous times that were to come. 

In Cincinnati Elder Woodruff made further purchases for the 
"Times and Seasons." From that city they went on to Pittsburg, 
Pennsylvania, with the steamer Adelaide. They reached the place 
at six p. m. and immediately repaired to the Temperance Hall, 
where a meeting of the Saints was convened. Here they met El- 
ders Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, and John E. Page. The last 
named was preaching as they entered the hall; and, contrary to 
the counsel of the Prophet, Elder Page was making war upon sects 
of the day. Next day the Twelve held a council, in which John E. 
Page was severely reproved by President Young for disorganizing 
a branch in Cincinnati which three of the Twelve had just before 
that time organized, and for disobeying the Prophet's counsel in 
the matter of preaching against religious denominations. These 
acts of disobedience to the counsels of his file-leaders had, no 
doubt, something to do with his apostasy later on. 

Elder Woodruff never forgets to put in his journal the histor- 
ical items of general interest and, speaks of Pittsburg as a city 
which at that time numbered about thirty-five thousand inhab- 
itants. The city had ninety-five churches, one hundred and twenty 


preachers, and twenty-one denominations. The Latter-day Saints 
numbered there at that time seventy-five souls. 

On Sunday, the 30th, six of the Twelve Apostles met in con- 
ference with the Saints in Temperance Hall. They held three 
meetings and imparted many valuable instructions to the Saints 
and visitors in attendance. Elder Woodruff took minutes of the 
meeting and noted especially the teachings of President Young, as 
he attached most importance to the words of the man standing 
highest in authority when giving an account of what was said on 
any occasion. President Young on this occasion bore a strong tes- 
timony to the divinity of the work and to the mission of the 
Prophet Joseph. "Who," he said, "is the author of this work? 
God is its author, Joseph Smith being the instrument in the hands 
of God. He is the greatest man on earth. No other man of this 
age has power to gather such a great people from all the nations 
of the earth and with all their peculiar dispositions cement them 
together. This the Prophet is doing by the power of God, as the 
Saints are led by the Holy Spirit in their own hearts." 

July the 30th the members of the Twelve made a tour of the 
city. They visited the glass-works, the water-works, and other 
places of note and interest. Speaking of the water-works, Elder 
Woodruff says : "Descending the hill we had a view of the city 
water-works. The building was patterned after Roman architec- 
ture. The works cost two hundred thousand dollars. The build- 
ing was designed by Elder Charles Beck, who was a member of 
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." Elder Beck 
was present at the visit of the Twelve to Pittsburg and showed 
them every courtesy. He further paid the railroad fare of the six 
members to Baltimore. 

From there they proceeded to Philadelphia, where they ar- 
rived August 5th. The following day (Sunday) they met about 
three hundred Saints in conference. Elder Jedediah M. Grant 
was also present and opened the conference by prayer. President 
Young, Orson Pratt, and George A. Smith occupied the principal 
part of the time in both of the meetings, afternoon and evening. 
In the forenoon Elder Woodruff accompanied President Young 
and others to hear the Reverend Mr. Litz, the Millerite preacher. 
The reverend gentleman strongly contended that the Jews would 
never be restored to the land of Palestine or be gathered together. 


On the 8th the Twelve took a steamboat excursion, and while 
thus riding for their enjoyment, a number of subjects came up for 
discussion. Among others the question : "Is the prosperity of any 
religious denomination a positive evidence of the truth of its con- 
tention?" John E. Page took the affirmative, and Elder J.M. Grant 
the negative. President Young, who was chairman, decided in 
favor of the negative. 

During the stay of the Twelve in this historic city, Elder 
Woodruff was very active in visiting the Saints, strengthening 
them in their faith and laying before them the purpose of their 
mission. At intervals in his labors he occupied himself in gath- 
ering a great variety of useful information within his reach. His 
journal is, indeed, an interesting history of the places visited by 
him in those early days. He speaks of the visit of himself, Elders 
Young, Pratt, Smoot, and Hessy to the state house, also of his 
visit to Independence Hall. "We saw," he remarks, "the room 
where the patriots signed the Declaration of Independence. We sat 
in the chair occupied by John Hancock when he signed that im- 
mortal instrument." 

On the 14th, Elders Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, and 
William Muir parted with the Saints in Philadelphia and went by 
steamer to Schuylkill, then walked six miles to a Mr. Mosley's, 
where they preached in the evening. For several days Elder 
Woodruff traveled and preached in various neighborhoods of that 
vicinity. He visited the scene of the Battle of Brandywine. 

On the 21st the party returned to Philadelphia, where they 
learned that the other apostles had gone on to New York. They 
remained two days, then followed their companions. In New 
York they held a conference on August 26th and 27th. At this 
conference many questions which are well understood doctrines of 
the Church were commented upon in such a manner as to show 
that they were not plain to the missionaries of those early days, a 
fact, no doubt, due to the traditions and religious teachings which 
men of those times brought with them into the Church. Among 
other things, the question was asked whether a man could be de- 
prived of his priesthood and still retain his standing in the Church. 
President Young answered decidedly, "No." 

On the 29th of that month Elder Woodruff went to Boston 


with Elders Davis and Wandell. This afforded him an oppor- 
tunity to visit his father and. family in his old home at Farming- 
ton, Connecticut. On the 9th of September, after reaching Bos- 
ton, he, with six other members of the Twelve ; namely, Brigham 
Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, John E. 
Page, and George A. Smith, held conference in Boylston Hall. 
From his notes the following is taken : "President Young said : 
'The spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, is a gathering spirit, and 
its tendency is to gather the virtuous and good, the honest and 
meek of the earth, in other words the Saints of God. Now is the 
set time for the Lord to redeem Israel. He does not require every 
soul to leave his home as soon as he believes, but requires him to 
hearken to counsel and follow the counsel which the Lord points 
out to him. You say the Lord may save us as well where we are. 
Yes, if the Lord says so, but when He commands us to gather and 
we do not do it, He will not save us. You might have been bap- 
tized seventy times in any other way than that ordained of God 
and you would not have received the Holy Ghost. Can you get 
an endowment in Boston ? No, only in that place which God has 
appointed. If you do not help to build the Temple and the Nauvoo 
House, if you do not help to build up Zion and the cause of God, 
you will not inherit the land of Zion. Be faithful or you will not 
be chosen ; for the day of choosing is at the door. Why be afraid 
of sacrifice ? I have given my all many times and would be willing 
to do so again. I would be glad to hear the Lord say to His 
servant Joseph, "Let my servant Brigham give all he has." I 
would obey in a moment if it took the last coat from my back/ " 

From a discourse of Heber C. Kimball the following is taken : 
"We do not profess to be polished stones like some of the elders. 
The more we roll through the forests and get the corners knocked 
off the better we are. If we were polished and smooth it would 
deface us to have the surface chipped off. This is the case with 
Joseph Smith, he never professed to be smooth and polished. Roll- 
ing around among the rocks ha§, not hurt him at all, but in the end 
he will be as polisned as any stone, while many who were so very 
polished in the beginning will become badly defaced." 

"Do the Saints of Boston know," said Parley P. Pratt, "that 
they are identified in laying the foundation of so great and mighty 


a work that it will include all the great and glorious purposes of 
God which are to be fulfilled in the dispensation of the fullness of 
times ? Millions will yet celebrate the day when the foundation* of 
this work was laid." 

The Twelve little dreamed that when they would meet again 
in Boston it would be on the sad 27th day of June, when the 
Prophet and the Patriarch would be called upon to lay down their 
lives at the hands of a murderous mob. 

On the 12th Elder Woodruff left for Portland, Maine. The 
express train conveying him to his destination was thrown from 
the track. The engineer was killed and a lady passenger bruised ; 
all the rest escaped in a marvelous manner. From Maine Elder 
Woodruff wrote an account of the wreck to the "Boston Bee" as 
well as to the "Times and Seasons" in Nauvoo. He occupied some 
several days in visiting his wife's father, Ezra Carter, and the 
family of Arthur and Lucy Milliken, the latter being the youngest 
sister of the Prophet Joseph. 

After his visit he returned to Boston, where he again joined 
the members of this quorum. While there he and several mem- 
bers of the Twelve were examined phrenologically by the noted 
Professor O. S. Fowler. From his chart we take the folowing 
character delineation of President Woodruff: 


"Wilford Woodruff: Is a man of great action, both physical 
and mental; does up things in a hurry; lets nothing sleep in his 
hands ; great resolution ; steamboat speed ; loves his liberty ; is not 
disposed to be subject to the will or dictation of others; has great 
independence; difficulties only stimulate him to increased action; 
goes in for the largest liberty of the mass and is a democrat of the 
old school; prefers utility to beauty and substance to show; 
highly social and fond of family and friends ; has but few secrets 
of his own and tells the plain, unvarnished facts; fears but little 
danger ; is not irresolute, but decides and proceeds at once to ac- 
tion; his first thoughts are always his best; he does his own re- 
ligious thinking and does not hang his hopes upon the faith of 
others. He believes but little without proof ; is a two edged sword 
— if he does not cut one way, does another. He makes positive 



friends or positive enemies — has much severity ; is sarcastic ; bit- 
ter in reproaches; means to do right; fears the force of moral 
obligations. His jokes have more vinegar than molasses in them. 
He recollects and explains facts well; reasons by inference from 
the facts, by analogy and induction ; has good talking talents, and 
is noted for his clear illustrations. 

Boston, September the 20th, 1843. 

(Signed) O. S. Fowler. 

B. J. Gray, Secretary." 

Soon after this the Twelve began their return to Nauvoo. 
They met in Philadelphia, and on the 5th of October continued 
their journey homeward. The same day a large company of 
Saints left by rail to gather with the Saints in Illinois. On the 
19th they crossed the Alleghanies by means of an incline which 
hoisted the car, passengers, and freight from one elevator to an- 
other until the summit, nearly fifteen hundred feet above, was 
reached. They were let down on the other side in the same man- 
ner. In those days this was a novel contrivance, and the mechan- 
ism employed not being so perfect as that of today was attended 
with many dangers. "The whole passage across the mountains 
was a constant scene of danger, and I called upon God in my heart 
to preserve our lives. Even while on the level we were running 
on the edge of a precipice a hundred feet above the bottom of a 
chasm. In conversation with a mate in the evening upon the sub- 
ject of our passage across the mountains, he said that we were not 
aware of one-half the dangers we had encountered." 

• At Pittsburg Elder Woodruff took passage for St. Louis and 
thence up the river to Nauvoo, which he reached November 4th. 
On the 7th he met in council with the Twelve. He was appointed to 
raise five hundred dollars for the purchase of paper upon which 
to print the "Doctrine and Covenants." On the 11th President 
Hyrum Smith sealed Wilford Woodruff and Phoebe Woodruff 
for time and eternity according to the patriarchal order of mar- 
riage which had previously been revealed to the Prophet Joseph 

About this time the Prophet delivered a strong discourse on 
the sin of adultery and kindred crimes. The discourse was the 
result of the action taken in the case of John C. Bennett, who, with 


other prominent men, had been adjudged guilty of adultery. The 
Saints were warned against such crimes. The Prophet thought 
that the example made of John C. Bennett and others was suffi- 
cient to show the fallacy of those who advocated or justified such 
a course. He condemned adultery in unqualified terms and warned 
those present against its commission. 

It was also about this time that General Fryeson came to 
Nauvoo and met with the Prophet and Twelve to arrange for a 
memorial to congress in behalf of the Latter-day Saints. Affi- 
davits on the Missouri atrocities were given by Hyrum Smith, 
Brigham Young, P. P. Pratt, Lyman Wight, George W. Pitkin, 
and Sidney Rigdon. 

Trouble was again fomented about this time by the Mis- 
sourians. A messenger had just arrived from St. Louis inform- 
ing the brethren that the governor of Missouri had issued another 
requisition for the Prophet. Joseph had just made a 
touching appeal to the Green Mountain boys of Vermont, his 
native state, for assistance in obtaining redress for the wrongs 
heaped upon the Saints in Missouri. The appeal was pub- 
lished in pamphlet form and sent to the authorities of the gov- 
ernment in Washington. A few days later a man named Elliot 
was arrested and proven guilty of kidnapping brethren 
and of threatening the life of the Prophet. Notwithstanding 
the guilt of this man, Joseph forgave him, and he subsequently 
left in peace. A warrant was also issued for the arrest of Colonel 
Williams, the leader of the kidnapping party. He, however, 
gathered a mob and resisted the officers. 

December 2nd on the Sabbath morning P. P. Pratt, Orson 
Hyde, Wilford Woodruff, and Orson Spencer received their 
anointings; and on December 23rd they met in Joseph Smith's 
home, where endowments were given to Elder Marley and wife, 
Orson Pratt, Mrs. Lot, Fanny Murray, Phoebe Woodruff, Bath- 
sheba Smith, Sister Orson Spencer, and Sister Phelps. 

Christmas day of 1843 was spent by Elder Woodruff with his 
old-time friend, A. O. Smoot. They paid a visit to the Saints who 
had come from Tennessee to Nauvoo. Part of that day Elder 
Woodruff worked upon his house and discharged many duties of 
a home nature. Thus another year in his life was closed. Dur- 
ing 1843 he had traveled in thirteen states over five thousand 



miles, held many meetings, baptized a half dozen persons, reported 
several sermons, endured a severe sickness, encountered dangers 
by rail and by water, and closed an eventful year with feelings of 
gratitude, and with the fullest recognition of God's tender mercies 
in his behalf. 



Conduct of the Laws and the Marks. — Discourse on Elijah by the 
Prophet. — The Celestial Law. — Prophet's Candidacy for Presi- 
dent of U. S. — Exploring Expedition to California Planned. — 
Joseph, Mayor of Nauvoo. — Hostility in Carthage. — Mischief Mak- 
ers in Nauvoo. — The Prophet Talks on Politics. 

The year 1844, a year pregnant with momentous events — 
events which history has magnified because of their importance 
to mankind in general and to the Latter-day Saints in particular, 
was ushered in with a cold, blustering snow storm. Character- 
istic of his busy life, Elder Woodruff celebrated the day by plas- 
tering and whitewashing the printing office. He was enthusiastic 
over his new-found occupation and gave his heart and hand to the 
work before him. 

"Into the midst of the busy, hopeful life of the Saints, there 
entered an element of uncertainty and of deep concern, and whis- 
pered threats against the life of the Prophet were circulated. The 
false charges of the apostate element were growing in intensity. 

As the outgrowth of these conditions in Nauvoo at that time, 
there was held on the 3rd of January, in Joseph's store, a court of 
inquiry. The inquiry was directed to the conduct of William 
Law, Wilson Law, and William Marks. Of William Law Elder 
Woodruff writes in his journal : "He professes to believe that 
Joseph has instructed the police to kill him, but the truth is that 
the Laws have turned traitors and are breeding mischief which is 
intended to take the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith." On the 
5th of the month a second court was held relating to the same 
matter. In contradistinction to the spirit of the Laws there was an 
enthusiastic, hopeful spirit which caused faithful men and women 
to look forward with fond anticipations to the completion of the 
Temple. Work in the house of God was then taking hold upon 
the feelings of men and women who had had revealed to them the 
relation and duties they sustain to their progenitors as well as to 
their posterity. The spirit of Elijah was upon the elders of the 

On January 21st, Elder Woodruff records the fact that Apos- 


tie Parley P. Pratt had just received second anointings and that 
he had been instructed by the Prophet that it was his duty to hav: 
his wife sealed to him for eternity in order that his glory might be 
full. Elder Woodruff records the following words from the 
prophet : "What shall I talk about today? I discern that Brother 
Cahoon wishes me to speak upon the coming of Elijah. The Bi- 
ble says, 'I will send you Elijah before the great and terrible day 
of the Lord shall come, that he shall turn the hearts of the fathers 
to the chidren and the hearts of the children to their fathers lest 
I come and smite the earth with a curse/ The word 'turned' 
should read 'point' or 'seal/ But, what is the object of this im- 
portant mission, or how is it to be fulfilled? The keys are to be 
delivered, the spirit of Elijah is to come, the gospel is to be 
preached, the Saints of God are to be gathered, Zion is to be built 
up, and the Saints are to come forth as Saviors on Mount Zion. 
But how are they to come as Saviors on Mount Zion? By 
building temples, erecting baptismal fonts and receiving in the 
temples all the ordinances, sealings, and anointings in behalf of 
our progenitors who are dead, that they may come forth in the 
first resurrection and be with us exalted to thrones of glory. I 
would to God that this Temple were now completed, that we 
might go forth and attend to these ordinances in their fullness ! I 
would advise all the Saints to gather their living relatives to this 
place and be prepared against the day when the destroying angel 
shall go forth. My only trouble now is that which concerns our- 
selves. The Saints may be divided, broken up and scattered be- 
fore we accomplish the work now in view. There are so many 
fools in the world for the devil to act upon that it oftimes gives 
him the advantage. Any person who is exalted to the highest 
mansion must abide the celestial law and the whole law, too, but 
there has been much difficulty in getting understanding into the 
hearts of this generation. Even the Saints are slow to understand, 
ilow many will be able to abide the celestial law, endure the trials, 
and receive their exaltation I am unable to say. 'Many are called, 
but few are chosen/ " 

The Temple was still incomplete. The Presidency and the 
Twelve were urging the work upon it. In order that the Twelve 
might be prepared to administer in the ordinances of the house of 
God they were given their endowments and their wives sealed to 

EARLY DAYS OF 1844. 199 

them for eternity. Elder Woodruff gives the exact dates when 
certain members of the Twelve received these ordinances. He 
says, in his journal, "There is at this time quite a revival through- 
out Nauvoo and an inquiry after the things of God by all the 
quorums of the Church generally." 

There was a strange commingling of spirits in Nauvoo at 
that time. Spirits of life and death were at war, ana the Prophet's 
approaching end was made manifest to him in a dream which he 
related in his office to Wilford Woodruff, Willard Richards, and 
W. W. Phelps. The Prophet clearly saw the coming storm of 
persecution which awaited him. His release from opposition was 
represented by his power to pass through the air and be lifted up 
by the power of God above the earth. 

Furthermore this year was one for a presidential election. 
The Saints had been constantly ground between the political par- 
ties of those days. Whatever significance may be attached to the 
candidacy of Joseph Smith at that time for the presidency of the 
United States, it has since been the subject of all sorts of specula- 
tion. Elder Woodruff, in his journal, says : "A congregation of the 
citizens met in the room over Joseph's store to hear his views upon 
the affairs of government, views which he had written and -which 
were read by W. W. Phelps. T would not have permitted my 
name to be used by my friends as a candidate for the President 
of the United States iLwe could have enjoyed, unmolested, our 
religious and civil rights as American citizens — the rights which 
the constitution guarantees to all citizens, but rights which 
have been denied us from the beginning. I feel it my right and 
privilege to obtain what influence and power I can, lawfully, for 
the protection of injured innocence/ " 

At the close of the meeting there was a unanimous vote 
passed to support Joseph Smith. The Prophet had reason to ap- 
preciate the rights and liberties of mankind, of which he had been 
so often unlawfully and wantonly deprived. 

"On the 21st of February," Elder Woodruff writes, "I met 
with the quorum of the Twelve at Joseph's store, and according to 
Joseph's counsel a company was selected to go on an exploring 
expedition to California, and to select a place for the building of 
a city. Jonathan Dunham, David Fulmer, Phineas Young, Samuel 
W. Richards and several others were named for the expedition." 


The Prophet subsequently, in company with a number of his breth- 
ren, left Nauvoo on this proposed expedition, but turned back, 
as all know from the sad. story of his last days, to be a martyr to 
the work he had been instrumental in establishing. 

A curious circumstance of those times was the preaching of 
an Episcopalian minister in an adjoining room. Following the 
preacher, Joseph said, "The object with me is to obey and to teach 
others to obey God and all that He commands us to do. It matters 
not whether the principle be popular or unpopular, I will always 
maintain it though I stand alone in doing so." According to 
Elder Woodruff the Prophet, in 1842, predicted that within five 
years the Saints would be established beyond the Rocky Mountains 
and became a mighty people in the inter-mountain regions. 

On the evening of February 25th the news of the death of 
Joseph Duncan and Governor Reynolds of Missouri reached Nau- 
voo. They were among the most persistent enemies of the Saints. 
The news of their death called forth a notable prophecy from Jos- 
eph Smith, who wished his words recorded that they might be 
remembered when they were fulfilled. He declared that in five 
years the Saints would be rid of their old enemies, whether they 
were apostates or men who were never in the Church. Five years 
saw the Saints located in the valleys of the mountains. Those 
predictions were more the voice of the spirit than any expecta- 
tions of the people who were eagerly working for an early com- 
pletion of the Temple. 

On the 7th of March there was a large meeting of the Saints 
in Nauvoo. Eight thousand people had gathered by invitation to 
listen to the words of their Prophet and the Twelve. The latter 
directed their remarks more particularly to the ordinances which 
should take place in the house of God. "One of the great objects 
I had in calling this meeting," said the Prophet, "was to make a 
few remarks relative to the laws and ordinances of the city and 
to the building of the Temple. The reason I want to speak of the 
laws is that the officers have difficulty in administering them. We 
wish to have the people rule, but rule in righteousness. The laws 
are enacted and they can be repealed, if the people wish it, but the 
people should not complain of the officers. I am instructed by the 
city council to tell this people that if you do not like any law we 
have passed, we will repeal it for we are your servants. There are 

EARLY DAYS OF 1844. 201 

those in this community who would oppose anything good. If 
you preach virtue to them they will oppose it. If a case is tried 
here, they want it appealed to Carthage." 

In those days Carthage contained the chief enemies of the 
Prophet, and the town became a gathering place for those bent up- 
on his destruction. Any movement in opposition to him or to the 
Latter-day Saints in Nauvoo found sympathetic support there. 
Justice for the Prophet in Carthage was therefore absolutely im- 
possible. The lawyers and those encompassing his destruction 
took advantage of the law on a question of venue to put the object 
of their venom at the mercy of men whose attitude towards him 
was always malignant. 

During these days the Prophet was the mayor of Nauvoo, and 
his home-town sheltered men who were seeking to encompass the 
Prophet and his devoted followers. Such men were indeed a very 
small minority, but they were able to make a great amount of 
noise and do endless mischief. A certain individual had under- 
taken to appropriate the wharfage lands at the foot of Water 
Street, and thus create an issue between himself and the city. Such 
conduct awakened antagonism between people outside of Nauvoo 
desiring to carry on business there in the city. Outsiders did not 
always discriminate between the conduct of the mischief-makers 
and the people at large. Everything disagreeable and annoying 
was laid at the door of the Latter-day Saints. 

These facts will explain the Prophet's outburst ot indignation 
vhen he said: "I want every fool to stay at home and let the 
steamboats and captains and peace officers alone. How can we pre- 
vent mobs and the shedding of innocent blood unless we strike at 
everything that rises up in disorder." 

There were in the city secret combinations planned to thwart 
the purposes of Joseph and to bring confusion upon him and the 
great majority of the people. Among those plotting his ruin were 
men who professed personal friendship. "I despise," he says, "the 
man who betrays with a kiss. A certain man has been writing to 
the New York Tribune. I will not mention his name. He says 
much that was appropriated for the Temple has been spent for 
other purposes. But any man who has paid anything for the Tem- 
ple can learn from the books that every farthing has been used for 
that building. There are many men in our midst who are try- 


ing to build themselves up at our expense, and others are 
watching for some pretended iniquity, and make a man an offender 
for a word." 

After an article entitled, "A Voice of Innocence from Nau- 
voo," was read, Brigham Young addressed in the afternoon the 
assemblage. "I wish to speak on the duties of lawyers," he said, 
"classing myself with the lawyers in the house of Israel. When 
any man who is a lawyer takes a course to break peace instead of 
promoting it, he is out of the way of his duty. A doctor of law 
should be a peacemaker. The great object we have before us is 
the completion of the Temple this season. We havt felt the effects 
of slander and want a cure, or balm for it. I carry one with me 
all the time, and I want -you to do the same. I will tell you what 
it is. It is to mind our own business and let others alone, to suf- 
fer rather than to do wrong. If anyone will take your property 
away let him alone and have nothing to do with him. A spirit in- 
tended to divide the Saints has been manifested in this city. We 
have built up this city. Would steamboats have landed here if 
the Saints had not come, or would speculators make anything out 
of our lands if we had not come to give them value? Israel is 
to be the head, and not the tail. All who have gone from us have 
gone from the head to the foot. Oppose this work and it will roll 
over you. When since it began did this work ever stop? What 
the Saints need to know is what the Lord wants of them and then 
have the courage to do it. If the Saints will keep the law of God, 
the hypocrites and the scoundrels will not be comfortable in their 

Closing the meeting the Prophet said, "I care but little for pol- 
itics; I would not give much for the presidential chair in com- 
parison with the office I now hold ; but as men in the world have 
used the powers of government to oppose and persecute us, it is 
proper for us to use those powers for our own protection and 
rights. Were I President of the United States I would never say 
to an oppressed people, 'Your cause is just but I can do nothing 
for you/ " 

Continuing, he spoke of the annexation of Texas, and he fur- 
ther believed that the United States should receive all the territory 
that it could. He was in favor of paying for the slaves and fur- 
ther believed that steps should be taken to give freedom to all col- 

EARLY DAYS OF 1844. 203 

ored children after a fixed period. By these means he believed 
that much bloodshed would be averted and that in the end it 
would be less expensive to the country at large. "This govern- 
ment," he said, "will receive no suggestions from me. Those who 
hold the responsible places are controlled by a spirit of self-suffi- 
ciency, but they will have to meet with fear and trembling in a 
day to come the false position they have taken." 

"The Prophet Joseph," says Elder Woodruff, in his journal, 
"favored the admission of Canada into the United States. He 
regarded all of North and South America as the land of Zion, and 
believed that the principles upon which the government of the 
United States was founded should govern as well all the various 
nations on this continent." 

On the 8th of March, a number of leading citizens met to con- 
sider the question of vice-president on the presidential ticket. 

Through all the teachings of the Prophet in those days there 
ran a spirit of deep concern for the completion of the Temple, so 
that the ordinances to be performed therein might be enjoyed by 
the Saints. "These ordinances," Joseph insisted, "must be per- 
formed in this life." He spoke on the land of Zion and of the 
days to come when there would be stakes established throughout 
North and South America. His words were like the sounds of a 
distant echo; their realization was then scarcely within the com- 
pass of the most vivid imagination. Now that stakes of Zion are 
spreading out into Canada, Mexico, and various states of the 
Union, the fulfillment of these prophetic utterances is within the 
understanding of all Latter-day Saints. And in view of these 
prophecies one may exclaim with the psalmist of old : "Go about 
Zion ; count the towers thereof." 



Mission of the Apostles to the East. — A Warning to W. W. — A Sad 
Parting. — Political News of the Prophet Published. — W. W. Arrives 
in Boston, June 26. — The Martyrdom. — Its Announcement Reaches 
W. W. in Portland, Maine. — His Return to Boston. — an Epistle 
to the Elders and Saints in the World.— W. W. Visits His Old 
Home. — Return to Nauvoo. — Conditions in That City. 

The fourth of March, 1844, brought to Elder Woodruff's 
life the satisfaction that comes to those who esteem it a divinely 
appointed joy to sit beneath their own vine and fig tree. He 
moved on that day to the new home he had erected in Illinois; 
and for the first time he could leave his family, while abroad 
preaching the gospel, in some measure of comfort and independ- 
ence. He felt now, more than ever, from a material point of 
view, that he had prepared for the missionary service which be- 
longed to his calling. 

The opportunity for missionary service soon came. The 
Laws, Higbees, Fosters, Blakesley, and others came out in open 
rebellion against the Prophet of God, who now felt a foreboding 
of evil days to come. The Prophet, therefore, made a call upon 
the Twelve to take a mission to the Eastern States. He would 
not have their lives jeopardized by the enmity which was intensi- 
fying about him. Upon the Twelve rested the responsibility of 
the Kingdon, should he be called to lay down his life. Elder 
Woodruff left Nauvoo in company with George A. Smith, J. M. 
Grant, Ezra Thayer, and the latter's son. Of this circumstance 
he writes, "This was the last mission the Prophet ever gave to 
the Twelve Apostles in this dispensation. He wished none of 
us to remain by him except Willard Richards. Apostle John 
Taylor was later required to remain and take charge of the print- 
ing and publications. The Prophet then turned to me and said: 
'Brother Woodruff, I want you to go, and if you do not you will 
die.' His words rested with mighty weight upon me when he 
spoke, and I have often thought since, in contemplation of the 
awful tragedy of his and Hyrum's martyrdom, how truly his 


words would have been verified had I remained. Elder Taylor 
barely escaped. Willard Richards escaped the bullets altogether. 
He escaped, as was written of him later, 'without even a hole in 
his robe/ I took the parting hand of Hyrum and Joseph, at their 
own dwellings. Joseph stood in the entry of his door when I took 
his hand to bid him farewell. Brother J. M. Grant was with 
me. As he took me by the hand, he said: 'Brother Woodruff, 
you are about to start upon your mission.' I answered, 'Yes.' 
He looked me steadily in the eye for a time without speaking a 
word ; he looked as though he would penetrate my very soul, and 
at the same time seemed unspeakably sorrowful,as if weighed down 
by a foreboding of something dreadful. He finally spoke in a 
mournful voice : 'God bless you, Brother Woodruff ; go in peace.' 
I turned and left him with a sorrowful heart, partaking of the 
same spirit which rested upon him. This was the last time I ever 
saw his face or heard his voice again — in the flesh. Sad were the 
last months of the Prophet's life. They were like the last days 
of Him who died on Calvary for the redemption of a fallen 
world. The Apostles of this dispensation, while not aware of the 
coming events in all their fullness, were yet more fully prepared 
for the sad event than were the Apostles of Jerusalem. Those of 
the latter days had been endowed with power from on high, and 
they did not slumber while their Prophet suffered, as did those 
'in the Garden of Gethsemane.' " 

After departing upon his mission, Elder Woodruff and oth- 
ers passed the first week in holding public meetings, and on the 
18th of May held their first conference in Newark, Kendall Coun- 
ty, Illinois. With him at this conference was George A. Smith 
of the Twelve. At its close they were joined by Elders Charles 
C. Rich, David Fulmer, and Henry Jacobs from Nauvoo. The 
evening following they held a political meeting over which Wil- 
ford Woodruff presided. Henry Jacobs read the views of Joseph 
Smith on the policy and powers of the general government. 
Spirited addresses were made by David Fulmer, Wilford Wood- 
ruff, and George A. Smith. The day following they rode thirty 
miles to Joliet, where a similar meeting was held, and where a 
good impression was made upon the minds of the people. In his 
journal he saysi "We continued from place to place, holding 
forth in public assemblage upon political subjects, reading the 


views of Joseph Smith and placing him before the public as a fit 
candidate for the presidency of the United States. 

"On the first of June we held conference in Comstock, Kala- 
mazoo County, Michigan. There were present two of the Quor- 
um, myself and George A. Smith. There were eight high priests ; 
S. Bent, Charles C. Richor, David Fulmer, H. Green, Z. Coltrin, 
Moses Smith, Ezra Thayer, and G. Coltrin; eight seventies and 
fourteen elders; two priests and one deacon. Charles C. Rich, 
in council with the officers, appointed the elders to their respec- 
tive stations in the several counties of the state, and he manifested 
much wisdom in arranging to carry out his work both in politics 
and religion in the state of Michigan." 

On the eighth day they held a conference in Pleasant Valley, 
and another in Franklin on the fifteenth. Soon after this Elder 
Woodruff proceeded to Boston, where he arrived on the 26th of 
June. On the 27th, the most sorrowful day of this dispensation, 
he was in company with President Brigham Young. Of this day 
he subsequently wrote: "The day of the martyrdom, Brigham 
Young and myself were seated in the railroad station at the time 
Joseph and Hyrum were assassinated. This. was June the 27th, 
at quarter past five in the evening, at Carthage, Illinois. It was 
half-past six in Boston. As we sat in the station, Brigham was 
very sorrowful and depressed in spirit, not knowing the cause. 
This was the time when Satan struck the heaviest blow he had 
struck since the Son of God was crucified. We well knew after- 
wards why all the Twelve, wherever they were on that day and 
at that time, were, like the president of our Quorum, sorrowful, 
and burdened in spirit without knowing why." 

On the ^9th of June the Twelve held a conference with the 
Saints in Boston. They met in Franklin Hall. There were pres- 
ent Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Orson 
Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, William Smith, and Lyman Wight. 
President Young presided. It occupied two days. The confer- 
ence was well attended, and every effort was made to present 
the views of the Prophet and explain the character of the Latter- 
day Saints. The conference also received instructions in political 

July first, by previous appointment, a convention was held in 


Melodian Hall. Brigham Young of Nauvoo presided. William 
Smith and Lyman Wight were vice presidents. Wilford Wood- 
ruff, Orson Pratt, and A. McAllister of Boston, and N. H. Felt 
of Salem were secretaries. Resolutions were passed and proceed- 
ings of the meeting were published in the "Boston Times" of July 
2nd, 1844. An evening session of the convention was held. A 
number of rowdies made their appearance in the galleries. While 
President Young was speaking, a woman by the name of Folsom, 
arose and began to harangue the audience; then a rowdy, sup- 
ported by a large number of kindred spirits, made such a dis- 
turbance that the police came in to quell those creating the con- 
fusion. The police, however, were overpowered by the rough ele- 
ment and the meeting was broken up. The convention, however, 
adjourned until 4 p. m. the following day, to meet at Bunker Hill. 
Here Heber C. Kimball and George B. Wallace were elected dele- 
gates to attend the Baltimore National Convention. 

On July 2nd the Twelve met in council and made their plans 
to support and attend the several conferences in the various states. 
Elder Woodruff and his old-time friend, Milton Holmes, whom 
he had not seen for five years, went into Maine. "We left Bos- 
ton," he says, "at seven p. m. on the 2nd and arrived at Father 
Carter's home in Scarboro early the next afternoon. I found my 
wife's father and mother and Brother Fabyan and family all well." 
A Brother Stoddard had already made the appointment for their 
conference on the 6th and 7th at Scarboro, in a Presbyterian chap- 
el. About six hundred people assembled. There were present be- 
sides himself S. B. Stoddard, Milton Holmes, Elbridge Tufts, and 
Samuel Parker. 

On the 9th, in company with Milton Holmes and Father Car- 
ter, Elder Woodruff visited Portland, and dined with his brother- 
in-law, Ezra Carter. While there he saw for the first time the an- 
nouncement in the press of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum 
Smith. It was published in the "Boston Times." In consequence 
of the shocking news, he repaired at once to Boston, and the day 
following his arrival there he met with the Saints and gave them 
counsel and comfort in the hour of their bereavement. "The next 
day," he says in his journal, "I wrote a letter to the editor of the 
"Prophet," published in New York, giving a word of exhortation 


to the Saints abroad to maintain their integrity, and to keep the 
faith and endurance of the Saints even unto death. The following 
morning we obtained information from Quincy, giving full ac- 
count of the horrible affair at Carthage and the great loss which 
the Church had sustained. 

"The governor himself acknowledged the deatn of Joseph and 
Hyrum to be a wanton murder. The state of Illinois was in com- 
motion, and Governor Ford made Quincy his headquarters 
and issued a proclamation to the citizens of the state. The news 
of the day stated that the Mormon leaders in Nauvoo had done 
all they could to restrain the disciples of the martyred Prophet 
from vengeance. Still there was evidently a disposition on the 
part of the people and the troops to destroy Nauvoo, lest the Mor- 
mons should hold a fearful reckoning with the mobocratic ele- 
ment in desperation over the assassination of their Prophet and 
Patriarch. 'The wicked flee when no man pursueth.' ' 

On Sunday, the 14th, Elder Woodruff preached twice to the 
Saints in Boston, he being the only one of the Twelve then in that 
city. On the morning of the 16th of July he received a letter 
from Erastus Snow and one from John E. Page, both confirming 
the report of the martyrdom. The same day he received the first 
letter he had obtained from his wife since leaving Nauvoo. This 
letter contained the narration of a dream given to the Prophet 
Joseph a few days before his death. In the dream there was clearly 
indicated to him the conspiracy and treachery of William and Wil- 
son Law, and the fact, too, that they would yet cry unto Joseph 
to deliver them from the grasp of the monster into whose hands 
they had wilfully placed themselves; and that his power to help 
them would be like that of Lazarus, to whom the rich man ap- 
pealed. There was a gulf between them. 

On the 17th of July he says, in his journal : "Elder Brigham 
Young arrived in Boston. I walked with him to No. 57 Temple 
Street and called upon Sister Vose. Brother Young took the bed 
and I the armchair, and then we veiled our faces and gave vent 
to our grief. Until now I had not shed a tear since the death of 
the Prophet. My soul had been nerved up like s*eel. After giv- 
ing vent to our grief in tears we felt more composed. Brother 
Brigham left the city the same day, but soon returned. Elders 


Kimball, Hyde, and Orson Pratt also came. We held a council 
and I was directed to write a letter to the "Prophet," edited in 
New York, advising the elders who had families in Nauvoo to go 
immediately to them, and all the elders of the Church to assem- 
ble fortKyyith a t Nauvoo for a council. It was signed by order of 
the quorum of the Twelve, Brigham Young, president, and Wil- 
ford Woodruff, clerk. This order of the quorum was subsequently 
published in the "News," Volume 7, No. 447. 

On July 18th, meeting was held in a hall on Washington 
Street, opposite Boylston Hall. Elder Hyde spoke on the martyr- 
dom of Joseph and Hyrum, and was followed by Brigham Young, 
who said : "Be of good cheer. The testimony is not in force while 
the testator liveth; when he dieth, it is enforced. So it is with 
Joseph. When God sends a man to do a work, all the devils in 
hell cannot kill him until his work is accompished. It was thus 
with Joseph. He prepared all things and gave the keys to men 
on the earth and said, 'I am soon to be taken from you. ' " 

Soon after this the Twelve left for Nauvoo. Elder Woodruff 
started on the 20th, and two days later found himself at his native 
home in Farmington, Connecticut. "I found my father and step- 
mother alone, there was not a child with them in their decline of 
life to watch over them. I had twenty-four hours to stay and I 
happily improved the time. 

"My father was sixty-seven years of age, and I might never 
see him again in mortality. I felt deeply impressed of late that I 
had something to do for my parents. As the sable shades of a 
serene night drew their curtain over the earth and sealed the cares 
of the day, we went alone to prayer. There were none but con- 
genial spirits there. I rose and with a spirit like that of Joseph 
of old towards his father Jacob, opened my heart to my father, 
and he reciprocated my sentiments. I then laid my hands upon 
his head and ordained Aphek Woodruff a high priest and patri- 
arch after the order of Melchisedek, and sealed him up unto eter- 
nal life. I shall never forget the deep satisfaction and heavenly 
spirit of that night beneath my father's roof. Sleep departed from 
me, and I was wrapped in the meditations and visions of days 
gone by and of days to come." 

The day following he journeyed on to New York, where he 



met Orson Hyde and Orson Pratt. When they reached Schenec- 
tady they met Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Lyman 
Wight. The six journeyed together until they reached Fairport, 
where Elder Hyde separated from them to visit his family in 

On this journey homeward President Young requested Elder 
Woodruff to keep an account of the events of those times, for some 
day he would be called upon to give a record of them. It was dur- 
ing this journey that Lyman Wight testified that while he was in 
jail in Missouri with the prophet, that Joseph informed him that 
he (Joseph) would not live to see his 40th birthday, but enjoined 
him not to speak of it until after his words had been fulfilled. It 
was during this journey also that Elder Kimball had a dream. It 
showed the policy of the nation toward the work of God and the 
important part the Twelve would perform in building upon the 
foundation laid by the Prophet. 

The Twelve arrived in Nauvoo on the sixth day of August, 
where they received a hearty welcome by families and friends. 
"When we landed in the city, a deep gloom seemed to rest over 
Nauvoo such as we had never before experienced." 

Those were days of heartfelt anxiety. Conflicting spirits 
were at work in a struggle for ascendency. Selfish ambitions and 
sinister motives were operating among the few. The Saints, gen- 
erally, were trusting themselves to an overruling Providence; 
they believed that at the proper time and in a manner unmistake- 
able, there would be some manifestation of God's watchcare over 
His Saints. The personal ambitions of men had gained no de- 
cided sway over the hearts and minds of the great body of the 
Church. The Apostles had just arrived. They were strong men, 
and the people felt the power of their influence. Those who were 
promoting their own selfish ends were likewise concerned over the 
arrival of the Twelve. To them the presence of these men meant 
more a contest for supremacy than it did an opportunity for more 
light and a better understanding. The humble and the God-fear- 
ing among the people possessed the key of their own safety. They 
were seeking a will higher than their own, and were willing when 
they found it to yield obedience. They knew that it was not their 
work. They appreciated fully the fact that they were humble in- 
struments and therefore wanted to place themselves in harmony 


with that divine authority which had been their guide and their 
anchor in bygone days. Those who were seeking the light were 
the first to behold it. The days following the arrival in Nauvoo 
of President Young and other members of the Twelve were days 
of great future significance in the history of the Church; every 
event of those days has been a land-mark in the history of God's 
people. What followed of importance is carefully recorded by 
Elder Woodruff in his journal. The contents of that journal are 
of supreme historical importance in the annals of the Church. 


Sidney Rigdon's Claim to Guardianship. — Rigdon's Spiritual Con- 
dition. — Comparison of Sidney Rigdon and Frederick Williams. — 
Remarks of Brigham Young. — Meeting on Aug. 8, 1844. — Brigham 
Young Follows Sidney Rigdon in Address to the People. — Mem- 
bers of the Twelve Speak. — Vote on Question of Leadership. 

The return of the Twelve to Nauvoo at that particular time 
was both opportune and providential. Elder Woodruff's care- 
ful record of what was said and done gives us an insight into 
the condition of the city and into the feelings of the people. 
The minds of the Saints were agitated, their hearts were sorrow- 
ful and darkness seemed to becloud their path*, they were like 
sheep without a shepherd, since their beloved Prophet had been 
taken away. 

Elder John Taylor was recovering from his wounds ; and on 
the 7th of August, 1844, the Twelve met in the forenoon in coun- 
"cil at his home. At four o'clock in the afternoon the Twelve, 
the high council, and the high priests met in the Seventies' Hall. 
It was there that Sidney Rigdon made his appearance, he hav- 
ing returned from Pittsburg, On invitation of President Young 
he took charge of the meeting. Sidney Rigdon presented to 
the people his claims to the guardianship of the Church. He 
recounted to those present, a vision wliich he said he received 
in Pittsburg on the 27th of June, the day of the Prophet's martyr- 
dom. This vision is given by Elder Woodruff in his journal 
as follows: "This was presented to my mind, not as an open 
vision, but rather as a continuation of the vision mentioned in 
the Doctrine and Covenants. It was shown to me that His Church 
must be built up unto Joseph and that all the blessings we re- 
ceived must come through him. I have been ordained as spokes- 
man to Joseph and must see that the Church is governed in a 
proper manner. Joseph sustains the same relationship to this 
Church as he has always done. No man can be a successor of 
Joseph. The Kingdom has to be built up to Jesus Christ through 
Joseph. There must still be revelation. The martyred Prophet 
is still the head of this Church. Every quorum should stand in 

THE SUCCESSION, 1844. 213 

the order in which its members received their anointings. I have 
been ordained a spokesman to Joseph and was commanded to 
speak for him. The Church is not disorganized though our head 
is gone. We have a diversity of feelings on this matter. I 
have been called to be a spokesman unto Joseph and I want to 
build up the Church unto him; and if the people call me to 
sustain this place, I want it upon the principle that every in- 
dividual shall acknowledge my right for himself. I propose to 
be a guardian to the people. In this matter I have discharged 
my duty and have done what God has commanded me to do. The 
people may please themselves whether they accept me or not." 

It will be remembered that although Sidney Rigdon had 
for a long time been faithful and had passed through many per- 
secutions and tribulations with Joseph, he had weakened and had 
become "weary in well doing." When he came out of Liberty 
jail he made an expression both presumptuous and sacrilegious 
by saying, in substance, that the Savior was nothing in suffer- 
ing, compared with himself. Again when the Prophet gazed up- 
on Commerce, the place where Nauvoo was built, he prophetically 
remarked : "It is a beautiful site but not long a resting place for 
the Saints." Sidney was so impetuous and so weary of suf- 
fering that in a tone of vexation he said of Joseph's words : "I 
thought that Joseph knew better than to prophesy evil concerning 
the Saints." 

The foregoing remarks disclose the state of Elder Rigdon's 
mind and explain the interpretation which he put upon the sac- 
rifices he had made for the gospel's sake. From these sacrifices 
he sought honor rather than the knowledge and spirit they 
contained. Elder Rigdon further manifested a weakness in his 
faith by his critical attitude towards the Prophet whose mind, 
to Sidney Rigdon's knowledge, had been so wonderfully enlight- 
ened by a divine power that enabled him to foresee future events. 
When Elder Rigdon, in closing his talk, remarked that the people 
could do as they pleased about it, he manifested a weakness of 
conviction and a spirit of indifference to his own claims that 
created an equal indifference in .the minds of those who listened 
to his words. 

Before his death, Joseph had conferred the keys of his divine 
authority upon the Twelve who stood next in authority to the 


Presidency of the Church and they succeeded to the leadership 
when the latter for any reason became disorganized. 

Before the Prophets death Elder Rigdon became separated 
from the body of the Church and really abandoned his calling by 
his return to his former home in Pittsburg. Associated in this 
particular event in the history of the Church are the words of the 
Prophet which so perfectly portrayed, not only Sidney Rigdon's 
character and future life, but also the marvelous inspiration which 
characterized the words of the Prophet. From Church History, 
Volume I., page 448, the following is given : 

"Brother Sidney is a man whom I love but is not cap- 
able of that pure and steadfast love for those who are his bene- 
factors that should characterize a president of the Church of Christ. 
This with some other little things, such as selfishness and indepen- 
dence of mind, which too often manifested, destroy the confidence 
of those who would lay down their lives for him — these are his 
faults. But notwithstanding these things, he is a very great 
and good man ; a man of great power of words, and can gain the 
friendship of his hearers very quickly. He is a man whom God 
will uphold, if he will continue faithful to his calling. O God, 
grant that he may for the Lord's satfe. Amen." 

"And again, blessed be brother Sidney, notwithstanding he 
shall be high and lifted up, yet he shall bow down under the 
yoke like unto an ass that croucheth beneath his burden, that 
learneth his master's will by the stroke of the rod; thus saith 
the Lord: yet, the Lord will have mercy on turn and he shall 
bring forth much fruit, even as the vine of the choice grape when 
her clusters are ripe, before the time of the gleaning of the vint- 
age ; and the Lord shall make his heart merry as with sweet wine, 
because of him who putteth forth his hand, and lifteth him up 
out of the deep mire, and pointeth him out the way, and guideth 
his feet when he stumbles and humbleth him in his pride. Bless- 
ed are his generations; nevertheless one shall hunt after them as 
a man hunteth after an ass that has strayed in the wilderness, 
and straightway findeth him and bringeth him into the fold. Thus 
shall the Lord watch over his generation, that they may De saved, 
Even so, Amen." 

"The man who willeth to do well, we would extol his- vir- 
tues, and speak not of his faults behind his back. A man who 

THE SUCCESSION, 1844. 215 

wilfully turneth away from his friend without a cause, is not 
easily forgiven. The kindness of a man should never be for- 
gotten. That person who never forsaketh his trust should ever 
have the highest place of regard in our hearts, and our love should 
never fail, but increase more and more, and this is my disposition 
and these are my sentiments/' 

"Brother Frederick G. Williams is one of those men in whom 
I place the greatest confidence and trust, for I have found him 
ever full of brotherly love, and kindness. He is not a man of 
many words but is ever winning because of his constant mind. 
He shall ever have a place in my heart, and is ever entitled to 
my confidence. He is perfectly upright and honest and seeks with 
all his heart to magnify his Presidency in the Church of Christ, but 
often fails because of lack of confidence in himself. God grant that 
he may overcome all evil. Blessed be Brother Frederick for he 
shall never want a friend, and his generation after him shall 
flourish. The Lord hath appointed him an inheritance upon the 
land of Zion : yea, and his head shall blossom, and lie shall be as 
an olive branch that is bowed down with fruit. Even so! Amen/' 

The fulfillment of these words were wonderfully brought 
about recently through the discovery of Sidney Rigdon's son, 
John W., in New York. The son, most of his life, had been sep- 
arted from the Church and all its interests. The proselyting of 
the elders in that city awakened in him a spirit of inquiry into 
the doctrines which his father had so ably expounded. The son 
became converted to the divinity of those doctrines and espoused 
the teachings of the Church. 

On the other hand, the posterity of Frederick Williams 
became numerous and faithful. In view of such divine insight 
into the lives of men as well as into the course of events, who can 
doubt? Joseph Smith stood forth in prophetic majesty like 
Moses, Samuel, Isaiah, Peter, James, John, and others of old. 

Returning to that important meeting in the Seventies' Hall, 
we find recorded in Elder Woodruff's journal the words of Presi- 
dent Young. They are given by that faithful chronicler as fol- 
lows: "I do not care who leads the • Church as long as the Lord 
directs it. One thing I must know and that is what God says 
about it. I have the keys, and, therefore, the means of obtaining 
the mind of God upon this subject. I know there are those in our 


midst who will seek the lives of the Twelve as they did the lives 
of Joseph and Hyrum. We shall ordain others and give them the 
fulness of priesthood, so that if we are killed the priesthood shall 
remain. Joseph conferred upon our heads all the keys and powers 
belonging to the apostleship which he held before he was taken 
away. No man, no set of men, can get between Joseph and the 
Twelve in this world or in the world to come. How often Joseph 
has said to the Twelve : 'I have laid the foundation, and you must 
build thereon ; for upon your shoulders the Kingdom rests/ The 
Twelve as a quorum will not be permitted to tarry here long, they 
will go abroad and bear off the Kingdom to the nations of the 
earth. They will baptize people faster than mobs can kill them. 
I would like it, were it my privilege, to take my valise and travel 
and preach until we had a people gathered who would be true. 
My private feelings would be to let the affairs of men and wom- 
en alone, except to preach the gospel and to baptize people 
into the Kingdom of God. However, what duty places upon me 
I intend to fulfill." 

Upon the suggestion of President Young, a special conference 
was appointed for the following Tuesday, August 8, at ten a. m. 
To this those present gave unanimous assent. 

At the request of William Marks, who then presided over 
the stake in Nauvoo, a special meeting was held in the morn- 
ing to choose a guardian for the Church. At that time Sidney 
Rigdon took his position in a wagon about two rods in front of the 
stand and talked to the people for about an hour and a half upon 
the choice of a guardian for the Church. Those who were pres- 
ent on that occasion and who were familiar with the eloquence 
of Sidney Rigdon, say that all his former inspiration and elo- 
quence had vanished while setting forth his personal claims for 
recognition. He spoke as one who had forsaken the path of duty 
and had become, like many others, indifferent to his obligations 
in the Church. 

When this meeting was dismissed, President Young made an 
appointment with the brethen to assemble at two p. m. that day. 
There were present among the assembled multitude, President 
Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Wilford 
Woodruff, Willard Richards, and George A. Smith. The various 
quorums were assigned to their respective places around the stand. 

THE SUCCESSION, 1844. 217 

After the opening exercises, President Young arose and said: 
"Attention all! This congregation makes me think of the days 
of King Benjamin when the multitude was so great that all could 
not hear. Let none complain of the size of this congregation, it 
was necessary to call you together. For the first time in the 
history of our lives, for the first time in this dispensation of the 
gospel, we are without the Prophet Joseph in our midst. I step 
forth, therefore ,to act in my calling in connection with the Quorum 
of the Twelve, the Apostles of Jesus Christ of this generation — 
Apostles whom God has called by revelation througii tiie Prophet 
Joseph Smith and who are ordained and anointed to carry the 
keys of the Kingdom of God unto all the world. 

"Hitherto the people have walked by sight and not so much 
by faith. We have had the Prophet as the mouthpiece of the 
Lord; now he is gone. He has sealed his testimony with his 
blood. We are called for the first time to walk by faith. Now 
that our Prohet and Patriarch are taken from our midst, in bo- 
half of the Twelve I submit to the people this question : Do you 
want someone to guard, to guide, to lead you into the King lorn 
of God as a guardian, spokesman, or something else? If" so, 
signify it by raising your right hand. (There was no vote). 

"When I came to this stand I had peculiar feelings and im- 
pressions. The faces of this people seemed to say: we want a 
shepherd to guide us through this world. To all who want to 
draw apart from the Church I say, let them do it if they choose, 
but they will not prosper. They will find that there is a power 
with the Apostles which will carry the work off victoriously and 
which will build up and defend the Church and Kingdom of God 
in all the world. What do the people want ? I want the privilege 
of weeping and mourning for thirty days at least, and then rising 
up and shaking myself and telling the people what the Lord wants 
of them. Although my heart is too full of mourning to launch 
out into business transactions and into the organizations of the 
Church, I feel compelled this day to step forth and discharge all 
those duties which God has placed upon me. 

"I now wish to speak of the organization of the Church of 
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church is organized, and 
you want to know how it is organized, I will tell you. I know 
your feelings. Do you want me to tell you your feelings ? There 


is President Rigdon who was counselor to Joseph. I ask, where 
are Joseph and Hyrum? They are gone beyond the veil, and if 
President Rigdon wants to act as his counselor, he must go be- 
yond the veil where he is. 

"There has been much said about President Rigdon being 
President of the Church and leading the people — being the head, 
etc., etc. Brother Rigdon has come sixteen hundred miles to tell 
you what he wants to do for you. If the people want President 
Rigdon to lead them they may have him ; but I say unto you that 
the Quorum of the Twelve have the keys of the Kingdom in all 
the world. The Twelve are appointed by the finger of God. Here 
is Brigham, have his knees ever faltered? Have his lips ever 
quivered? Here are Heber and the rest of the Twelve, an inde- 
pendent body who have the keys of the priesthood ; the keys of the 
Kingdom of God to deliver to all the world ; this is true, so help 
me God! They stand next to Joseph and are as the Presi- 
dency of the Church. I do not know whether my enemies will 
take my life or not and I do not care, for I want to be with the 
man I love. 

"You cannot fill the office of a prophet, seer, and revelator. 
God must do that. You are like children without a father, and 
sheep without a shepherd. You must not appoint any man at 
year head ; if you do, the Twelve must ordain him. You cannot 
appoint any man at your head, but if you do want any other man 
or men to lead you, take him or them, and we will go uur way to 
build up the Kingdom of God in all the world. 

"I know who are Jospeh's friends and who are his enemies ; 
I know where the keys of the Kingdom are, where they will enter- 
nally be. You cannot call a man to be a prophet. You cannot 
take Elder Rigdon and place him above the Twelve ; if so, he must 
be ordained by them. 

"I tell you there is an over-anxiety to hurry matters here. 
You cannot take any man and put him at the head. You would 
scatter the Saints to the four winds. You would sever the 
priesthood. So long as we remain as we are, the Heavenly Head 
is in constant co-operation with us; and if you go out of that 
course, God willl have nothing to do with you. 

"Again, some perhaps think that our beloved Brother Rig- 
don would not be honored, would not be looked to as a friend; 

THE SUCCESSION, 1844. 219 

but if he does right and remains faithful, he will not act against 
our counsel nor we against his, but act together and be as one. 

"I again repeat — no man can stand at our head except Go J 
reveals it from the heavens. I have spared no pains to learn my 
lesson of the Kingdom in this world and in the eternal worlds ; 
and if it were not so, I could go and live in peace; but for the 
gospel and your sakes, I shall stand in my place. We are liable, 
all the day long, to be killed. You have never lived by faith. 

"Brother Joseph, the Prophet, has laid the foundation for a 
great work and we will build upon it. You have never seen the 
quorums built one upon another. There is an almighty foundation 
laid and we can build a Kingdom such as there never was in the 
world. We can build a Kingdom faster than Satan can kill the 
Saints off. . 

"What do you want ? Do you want a patriarch for the whole 
Church? To this we are perfectly willing. If Brother Samuel 
H. Smith had been living, it would have been his right and priv- 
ilege, but he is dead. He is gone to Joseph and Hyrum. He is 
out of the reach of bullets and spears and he can associate him- 
self with his brothers, his friends, and the Saints. 

"Do you want a patriarch? Here is Brother William left. 
Here is Uncle John Smith, uncle to the Prophet Joseph. It is 
their right. The right of the patriarchal priesthood belongs to 
Joseph's family. 

"Do you want a trustee-in-trust? Has there been a bishop 
who has stood in his lot yet? What is his business? To take 
charge of the temporal affairs so that the Twelve and the elders 
may go on their business. Joseph condescended to do their busi- 
ness for them. Joseph condescended to offer himself for Presi- 
dency of the United States, and it was a great condescension. 

"Do you want a spokesman ? Here are Elder Rigdon, Broth- 
er Amasa Lyman, (whom Joseph exepected to take as a counseler) 
and myself. Do you want the Church properly organized, or do 
you. want a spokesman. Elder Rigdon claims to be spokesman 
to the Prophet. Very well — he was. But can he now act in 
that office?' 

"If he wants now to be a spokesman to the Prophet he must 
go to the other side of the veil for the Prophet is there, but 


Elder Rigdon is here. Why will Elder Rigdon be a fool? Who 
knows anything of the priesthood or of the organization of the 
Kingdom of God ? I am plain. Does the Church want, it as God 
organized it, or do you want to clip the power of the priesthood, 
and let those who have the right go and build up tne Kingdom 
in all the world wherever the people will hear them? 

"If there is a spokesman, if he is a king and priest, let him 
go and build up a kingdom unto himself. The Twelve are at the 
head of the Church. I want to live on the earth and spread truth 
through all the world. You Saints of Latter-days want things 
right. If ten thousand should rise up and say they have Joseph's 
shoes, I know they would be imposters. In the priesthood you 
have a right to build up a kingdom if you know how the Church is 

"Now if you want Sidney Rigdon or William Law to lead 
you, or any body else, you are welcome to them both, but I tell you 
in the name of the Lord that no man can put another between 
the Twelve and the Prophet Joseph. Why? Because Joseph was 
their file leader and he has committed into their hands the keys of 
the Kingdom in this last dispensation for all the world. I ask, 
who has stood next to Joseph? I have; and I will stand next to 
him. We have a head and that head is the Apostleship, the spirit 
and power of Joseph, and we now can begin to see the necessity 
of that Apostleship. 

"President Rigdon was at his side, not above. No man had a 
right to counsel the Twelve but Joseph Smith. Think of these 
sayings. You cannot appoint a prophet ; but if you let the Twelve 
remain and act in their place, the keys of the Kingdom are with 
them, and they can manage the affairs of the Church and direct 
all things aright. 

"Now all this does not lessen the character of President 
Rigdon. Let him magnify his calling and Joseph will want him 
behind the veil. Let him be careful what he does lest that thread 
which binds us together be cut asunder. May God bless us all." 

Following the remarks of President Brigham Young, Airiasa 
Lyman spoke a few words fully sustaining President Young 
and the Twelve. Elder Lyman had been chosen as a counselor 
to the Prophet Joseph and in reference to the matter pending 
said: "I am gratified with the open, frank, and plain exposition 

THE SUCCESSION, 1844. 221 

of President Young. " He has seen the relation I bear to our de- 
ceased brother. I never did conceive that it gave me a right to 
stand * above the Twelve. I make no exceptions, whatever, to 
anything he has said. President Young has stood next to the 
Prophet Joseph with the Twelve and I have stood next to them 
and will be with the Twelve forever. We have a head here, 
what is that head? The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles." 

The words, the appearance, and the spirit of Brigham Young 
were so convincing and so like those of the Prophet Joseph that 
the people knew the voice of their new shepherd. 

President Rigdon next called upon W. W. Phelps to speak 
for him as he could not speak for himself. Although Elder 
Phelps spoke at some length, he did not advocate the claims of 
Elder Rigdon. He sustained the right and duty of the Twelve 
Apostles to stand at the head, and expressed his hope that Elder 
Rigdon would submit to that authority. 

Apostle Parley P. Pratt then spoke in support of President 
Young and the Twelve and said with reference to the wicked 
men in Nauvoo: "If there are wicked men here, it is because 
we support them. Stop dealing with them and they will go away. 
I am willing to do good to all men, especially to the household of 
faith. Mobs and wicked men will cease only when you cease 
to support them. I know we can all live and be happy — when we 
deal with honest men. If some men want a doctor to cure them, 
they will send directly for the worst man they can find. I would 
die a natural death rather than have a wicked doctor help me off. 
Cunning device and hypocritical sophistry gain an ascendency in 
Nauvoo, and this they have often done elsewhere in the History 
of the Church." 

At the close of Elder Pratt's remarks President Young arose 
and said : "If Brother Rigdon is the person you want to lead you, 
vote for him ; but if you do, then follow him and take his counsel 
hereafter as you did the counsel of Joseph; and do not say so 
unless you mean to follow him. I will say the same for the 
Twelve. Don't make a covenant to support them unless you in- 
tend to abide by their counsel. President Rigdon wants me to 
bring up the first question of sustaining the Twelve. If * the 
Church wants the Twelve to stand at its head, to be the Presi- 
dency of the Church in all the world, standing next to Joseph, to 


walk in their calling and to hold the keys of this Kingdom, mani- 
fest it by holding up the right hand. (There was a unanimous 
vote in favor of the proposition.) If there be any of a contrary 
mind, lift up your hands in like manner. (No hand went up). 
This supercedes the other question and the necessity of putting it 
to the quorums." 

The remarks of President Young on this occasion clearly indi- 
cate that there was no disposition to treat unkindly or with dis- 
respect the feelings of Elder Rigdon, or to disregard the fact of 
his long experience, and of his sufferings for the gospel's sake. 
President Young continued: "We feel as though we could take 
Brother Rigdon along with us. We want such a man. Let him 
be one with us and we one with him." Later in his remarks 
President Young asked the congregation if they would sustain 
Elder Rigdon in his relationship to the Twelve. The vote to do 
so was unanimous. 

Of the deceased Prophet, President Young said: "You did 
not know whom you had amongst you. Joseph so loved this 
people that he gave his life for them. Hyrum loved his brother 
and this people unto death. Joseph and Hyrum have given their 
lives for the Church. Very few knew Joseph's character, who 
loved you unto death. He has now sealed his testimony with 
his blood. If the Twelve had been here, they would not have seen 
him given up. He should not have been given up. He was in 
your midst and you did not know him. He has been taken away, 
for the people are not worthy of him. I do not know whether 
my enemies will kill me or not. I would wish to be with the 
man I love." 

The patriarch of the Church had been taken away and the 
office therefore left vacant. Of this matter President Young 
said: "We shall have a patriarch, and the right to this office is 
in the family of Joseph Smith. It belongs to some of his relations. 
Here is Uncle John. He has been ordained a patriarch. Brother 
Samuel would have received it, but he also has been taken away. 
The right is in Uncle John or in one of his brothers." The 
matter of selecting a patriarch was left to the Twelve for future 
action and for the purpose of learning the will of the Lord con- 
cerning it. At that time the Patriarch Hyrum's son, John, who 
now fills the office was only ten years of age. Uncle John, broth- 

THE SUCCESSION, 1844. 223 

er to Joseph's father, was finally chosen to fill the place which he 
did with honor and satisfaction during the rest of his life. 

Since that memorable conference all therein "said by President 
Young and his associates is confirmed by the position taken with 
respect to the authority or the leadership in the Church. Not- 
withstanding the predictions of a migration by the Saints to the 
valleys of the Rocky Mountains, the leaders adhered strictly to 
the divine command, admonishing them to complete the Temple. 
By the conscientious regard for the word of God which was 
manifested to them from day to day they accomplished the work 
at hand and trusted their future movements to the guidance of 
their Heavenly Father. They waited upon the Lord and were 
taught by Him the lessons of patience as well as the lessons of 
faith. The conference just closed was a notable landmark in the 
history of the Church. Its decisions have been faithfully kept and 
the wisdom of those decisions, time has justified. 



The New Leadership. — Second Call to Great Britain. — Warning Against 
Leading Companies from Nauvoo. — Instructions To Finish the 
Temple and To Build up the City. — W. W. Visits Emma Smith and 
Others. — Parting Address to the Saints. 

The mid-summer days of 1844 were full of uncertainties, 
wonderment, some misgivings, many jealousies, and considerable 
resistance to the newly established authority and leadership in 
the Church. 

Joseph Smith was a wonderful man, a man with a marvelous 
career. The full force of his prophetic mission had not fallen 
upon those who were his contemporaries. A person's relationship 
with him in those days was no doubt a favored opportunity. His 
magnetism, individual force, and the personal qualities of his life 
impressed those with whom he was most intimately associated, 
.those who had sincerely accepted his divine calling. It is not true, 
however, that the highest and best understanding of his prophetic 
mission could be had by personal contact. The highest and best 
testimony that ever came to men and women in the world respect- 
ing the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith came to them through 
the gift of the Holy Ghost. By that spirit men who never saw 
him, never felt the magnetism of his personality, were among 
the most devoted in their adherence to his teachings. 

Those Saints who saw in Joseph Smith the instrumentality 
of a divine purpose, and saw above and beyond their young 
Prophet the glories of a new dispensation, did not hesitate at th° 
call of a new shepherd, the accents and tones of whose voice had 
the ring of the same inspiration that had moved other hearts 
in the days gone by. Ambitions had to be reckoned with, and 
they are full of seduction and danger when they obscure the vision 
by selfish aims. There is always darkness when men stand in 
their own light ; there is nothing that dims a man's vision so much 
as his own shadow. There were aspiring men who cherished 
the desire to put to the test their own personal influence. It is 
so easy for personal influence to beget pride, — pride which not 
only shuts off that influence, but which also makes men helpless 


to realize its absence long after it has departed. Even after the 
vote of the conference had been general to sustain the new leader- 
ship, there were small factions who wandered away from the 
body of the Church. 

At a meeting of the Twelve Apostles on the 12th of August, 
the subject of missionary work came up for consideration. The 
new movement called forth a proselyting spirit that was just as 
strong after Joseph's death as it was before. The American con- 
tinent was considered none too large for a field of operation. It 
was districted for missionary purposes and presidents were ap- 
pointed over the several divisions. At this meeting Elder Wood- 
ruff was chosen to preside over the European mission. One 
never reads of his call abroad without some feeling of regret that 
so faithful a chronicler of current events should be separated from 
the main body of the Church, and future generations deprived 
of the detailed narrative which he gave of the counsels, teachings, 
and movements of the leaders. 

On Sunday, the 18th, President Young addressed a vast con- 
gregation of Saints, a synopsis of whose teachings is found in 
Elder Woodruff's journal. "I discover," says President Young, 
"a disposition in the sheep to scatter abroad now that their former 
shepherd has been taken from them. I do not mean to say that it 
will never be right for the people to leave this place, but they 
should wait until the proper time comes and until they can go 
under proper counsel. The report has gone through the city that 
the Twelve have secret understandings with those who are going 
away, and with those who are taking companies with them; and 
that although the Twelve will speak against it publicly, yet private- 
ly they approve such migration. If it were the last words I had 
to speak before going into the eternal world, I would solemnly 
declare that there is not one word of truth in such a report. No 
man has any right through consent of the Twelve to lead one soul 
out of this city except Lyman Wight and George Miller who have 
the privilege of taking the Pine Company. If they go contrary 
to our counsel, they will go to their own self-destruction. If 
men do not cease striving to be great by exalting themselves and 
by leading people astray, they shall fall and not rise again!" 

Those were great words, words remarkably fulfilled in the 
subsequent career of Lyman Wight who rebelled against the auth- 



ority of the Twelve and led a little body of people into Texas. 
His influence, however, soon departed. His followers scattered 
and he died of mountain fever. The same fate befell others who 
pursued the same course. It was too bad that Wight should thus 
obscure what had been in him in earlier days, a great loyalty and 
a great devotion. 

Continuing, President Young said : "I wish you distinctly to 
understand that the counsel of the Twelve is for every family that 
does not belong to the Pine Company to stay in Nauvoo to build 
the Temple and obtain the endowments to be given therein. Do 
not scatter. United we stand, divided we fall. It has been whis- 
pered abroad that all who go into the wilderness with Wight 
and Miller will get their endowments. They cannot give an 
endowment in the wilderness. If we do not carry out the plan 
laid down by Joseph we can get no further endowments. I want 
this to sink deep into your hearts that you may appreciate it. 

"Do the people leave here because they are afraid? If so, 
I tell them before God that they shall have no place to rest, but 
shall flee from place to place like the Jews. I would rather have 
the dead body of the Prophet than some men who are alive. We 
want to build the Temple in this place even if we have to do as 
the Jews did in their erection of the Temple at Jerusalem ; work 
with a sword in one hand and a trowel in the other. Stay hero. 
Plow, sow, and build. Put your plow shares into the pratne. 
One plow share will do more to drive off the mob than two guns. 

"Do you suppose the mouth of God is closed to be opened 
no more? If this were true, I would not give the ashes of a rye 
straw for this Church. If God has ceased to speak by revelation 
or by the Holy Ghost, there is no salvation, but such is not so. 
Woe ! Woe ! Woe ! to all who have shed the blood of the Saints 
and the Lord's anointed. If you have the spirit of God you can 
discern right from wrong. When a man is not right, even though 
his language is as smooth as oil, there will be many queries about 
him, he will not edify the body of the Saints and I give this to 
you as a key. Store your grain in Nauvoo, for it will be needed 
there while you are building the Temple. 

"I want to say to the hands upon the Temple, be united ; and 
to the committee, don't turn away any person because he is 
English, Irish, or Scotch. Employ every man you can, and build 


the Temple and build your homes. I would rather pay out every 
cent to build up this place and receive an endowment, even were 
I driven the next minute without anything to*take with me. 

"I had a dream which I will relate here. I saw a fruit tree 
and went to it in search of fruit. I soon discovered that some 
of the main branches at the top of the tree growing from the 
body were dead. It seemed necessary to cut off the dead branches 
in order to save the tree. I asked someone to help me cut them off. 
He stepped on a large green limb. He was afraid it would break, 
so I put my shoulder under it and held it up while he cut off the 
dead branches. The green limb was cracked but it did not break. 
After we cut off the dead branches the wounds healed up and the 
tree grew nicely. Now let us cut off the dead branches of the 
Church that good fruit may grow." 

The central idea now in the mind of Brigham Young and the 
paramount influence actuating him in those days may easily be 
seen in the steadfast purpose he manifested to build upon the 
foundation which the Prophet had already laid. He had no am- 
bition to excel his predecessor and was therefore loyal to the 
Prophet, and throughout all his life he magnified his calling by 
sustaing the prophetic mission of Joseph Smith. A few of the 
leaders fell by the wayside, but those who were foremost in sup- 
porting the Prophet at the time of his martyrdom were found 
faithful after his death. 

Elder Woodruff was no less enthusiastic in the great latter 
day work than he had formerly been. The men he most re- 
spected he regarded simply as instrumentalities of a divine pur- 
pose; for to his mind it was a great thing to be an instrument 
in the hands of God in the furtherance of a new and grand dis- 
pensation. His missionary zeal never waned and those mid- 
summer days of 1844 found him busily occupied making prepar- 
ations for his departure to England where he was to preside over 
the British Mission. His wife was to accompany Iiim, and ar- 
rangements were made to leave their son, Wilford, during their 
absence with his old time friend, John Benbow. 

Before leaving Nauvoo, he paid a visit to Emma Smith to 
whose life he sought to bring consolation in the hour of her be- 
reavement. She gave him a piece of oak for a staff. The oak 
had been taken from Joseph's coffin. She also presented him with 


a pair of white cotton gloves, and to his wife she gave a handker- 
chief. He and Mrs. Woodruff next called upon Mary Smith, 
widow of Hyrum, and the mother of President Joseph F. Smith. 
She gave Elder Woodruff several small locks of hair taken from 
the heads of Joseph, Hyrum, Samuel, and Don Carlos, all broth- 
ers who had passed away into the other world. Speaking of 
these relics Elder Woodruff says: "I also obtaineG some hair of 
the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. My purpose in getting it 
was that I might put a part of each of these collections in the 
knob of my staff as a relic of those noble men, the master spirits 
of the nineteenth century." These relics he held as something 
sacred during his life time, and they are now in the possession 
of his family. 

"I next visited Mother Lucy Smith, the mother of the Proph- 
et, and of a large family of sons. This noble mother and proph- 
etess felt sorely grieved over the loss of her children, and lamented 
the cruel treatment she had receivd at the hands of an unfeeling 
world. She begged a blessing at my hands. I laid my hands upon 
her head and by the spirit of God pronounced upon her a bless- 
ing. This was August 23, 1844. I quote from that blessing as 
follows : "Let thy heart be comforted in the midst of thy sorrow 
for thou shalt be held forever in honorable remembrance in the 
congregations of the righteous. Thou shalt be remembered in 
thy wants during the remainder of thy days; and when thou 
shalt be called upon to depart, thou shalt lie down in peace having 
seen the salvation of thy God who has laid the everlasting foun- 
dation for the deliverance of Israel through the instrumentality of 
thy sons/ " 

That God had made her sons the instrumentality in the open- 
ing of a new dispensation gave the aged mother an abiding con- 
solation in the midst of her grief. 

On the 24th of August Elder Woodruff was set apart for his 
mission to Europe under the hands of the Twelve Apostles, John 
Taylor pronouncing the blessing. On Sunday the 25th Elder Wood- 
ruff addressed the Saints in Nauvoo, and from the synopsis he made 
of his remarks, the following quotation is here given : "There is a 
spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth him 
understanding. It is through this spirit which giveth understand- 
ing that this congregation is assembled at this place. You have 


the spirit of God and you therefore understand His ways and 
purposes. I have now one important declaration to make to you 
and that is that inasmuch as you have been anointed in heart, 
mind, and action in supporting your counselors, the priesthood of 
God, the present authorities of the Church, as you have supported 
the Prophet while he was alive, you will be safe and you will be 
blessed. You will also be protected, but if you are divided and 
reject the counsels of God, you will fall. Union and faithfulness 
are necessary for your salvation. It is true that you have been 
led by one of the best men that ever graced humanity or taber- 
nacled in the flesh, but he is gone, he sea^d his testimony with his 
blood, he loved this people unto death. 

"I now call upon the people to be united in building upon the 
foundation which the Prophet laid during his lifetime. You have 
been called to suffer much for the cause in which you are engaged, 
but if judgment begins at the House of God, Babylon will not es- 
cape. If there is fire in the green tree, what shall happen to the 
dry tree. No people are better prepared for the shock that is com- 
ing to this world than are the Latter-day Saints. The real object 
we have is to secure the blessings which lie beyond the veil and 
which will be found in the first resurrection. For these blessings 
we are preparing ourselves. 

"The fact that the Prophet sealed his testimony with his 
blood does not destroy the gospel or lessen the power and purposes 
of God. Truth has not been annihilated, neither has the priest- 
hood found its burial. The testimony of Jesus is now in force. 
My counsel, therefore, is to follow the example of those who are 
gone and who have been faithful unto death. If you would be 
united, go in all your might and build that Temple and get your 

"I earnestly exhort you to faithfulness and ask your faith 
and prayers in my behalf. I also want your forgiveness for any 
wrong I may have done. I bid the congregation farewell." 

"The next week I went to the river with Mrs. Woodruff 
where we were baptized for some of our dead friends." At mid- 
night of that day Elder Woodruff and his wife, accompanied by 
Chas. C. Rich, Elder Goddard, and several others ascended the 
walls of the Temple where they knelt in solemn prayer. Elder 
Woodruff, being mouth, poured out his soul to God for the sue- 


cessful completion of the Temple. He also implored divine aid 
for a prosperous season for the Church. 

In the completion of the Temple was centered the hope of all 
the devoted Latter-day Saints of those days. The leaders of the 
Church prayed and labored unceasingly for its completion. The 
spirit of apostasy in those times manifested itself most strongly in 
the efforts of those who sought to get away from Nauvoo, who 
wanted to establish in some distant place the Church anew. These 
disjenters argued that Nauvoo must be abandoned, and they were 
right in that conclusion ; but Nauvoo was not to be abandoned at 
that time nor under their leadership. It sometimes happens in this 
life that greater wisdom and virtue are found in the time an event 
is accomplished than in the accomplishment of the event itself. 
The great truth of the exodus from Nauvoo was to be sought 
for rather in the circumstances of that exodus, than in the fact 

That was not the first time nor was it the last time that men. 
anticipating the accomplishment of some divine purpose, placed 
themselves in front of those appointed for the accomplishment 
of God's will. It sometimes requires as much virtue to refrain 
from doing when the time has not yet arrived, as it required to 
do when the command was given. It is not always easy for men to 
wait upon the Lord, especially when they are actuated by an over- 
weening ambition to anticipate His purposes and be the first to 
undertake their accomplishment. 

The men in those days who were opposing the completion of 
the Temple, were full of sophistries. They argued then, as men 
argue now, largely in harmony with their own selfish ends and 
overpowering ambitions. If their arguments could not be, to their 
minds, successfully answered, they must be right. To their 
minds it was evident that the Saints must sooner or later leave 
Nauvoo. Why build the Temple, they asked, and thus throw away 
the labor of their hands in the hour of its completion. They argued 
the folly of such a course, and some who were loosely anchored in 
their faith were led away by the sophistries contained in such 

With the thoughtful, it was otherwise. The Temple might 
be destroyed even before its completion, or they might not be 
permitted to enjoy, at any length, its blessings after it was finished. 


With them that was not the question. Their highest guidance 
was found in the observance of God's will. He had said so ; if so, 
enough. The spirit bore testimony long before the mind had evi- 
dence of the great truth contained in God's command. The 
same spirit that actuated Christ in the garden of Gethsemane, act- 
uated His faithful followers in those trying days in Nauvoo. "Thy 
will be done." It is hard for men who have strong wills to yield to 
other wills, even though it be God's will which is at variance with 
their own. Men were taught then, as they were taught in ancient 
Israel, to wait upon the Lord. 

The over-anxious, the ambitious, the rebellious, would not 
wait upon the Lord. They went their own way; they were scat- 
tered abroad. Not having learned the lesson of self-restraint, the 
light and truth of the gospel became obscured in their minds, and 
their own will they mistook for God's will. They fell by the 

A letter containing his appointment is given in his journal 
as follows: 

"Nauvoo, August 22, 1844. 

To all Elders and Saints in Great Britain Greeting: 

We send our beloved Brother Wilford Woodruff to England 
to take charge of all business transactions pertaining to the 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, both spiritual and 
temporal. We wish you to give diligent heed to his counsel in all 
things, and as we have not the opportunity of informing you of 
what has transpired this season by letter, our beloved Brother will 
make known unto you all things. We wish the brethren to be 
faithful and diligent in keeping all the commandments of God, 
and in hearkening to the counsels of those who are sent to counsel 
them. Let no man or set of men think they have power of auth- 
ority or the keys of the Kingdom above Apostle Wilford Wood- 
ruff whom we send unto you to instruct you in the things pertain- 
ing to life and salvation. Though our Prophet be slain for the word 
of God and the testimony of Jesus, yet the keys of the Kingdom 
remain in the Church and the heavens are not closed, neither 
is the mouth of the Almighty sealed up that He cannot speak. 
The God of Israel will communicate to His disciples all things 
necessary for the building up of His Kingdom on the earth until 


Israel is gathered, yea even all the blood of Abraham scattered 
over all the earth, Zion established, Jerusalem rebuilt, and the 
whole earth be filled with the glory and knowledge of God. We 
wish all the Saints in England to continue their gathering as usual 
to the land of America; and they may have the privilege of ap- 
pointing a committee to visit the land of America to prepare a 
location for a settlement of the brethren from Europe according 
to their desire under the direction and counsel of Elder Wilford 
Woodruff; and further we would say unto the Saints in all the 
world that may be visited by Elder Wilford Woodruff that inas- 
much as they will hearken to his counsel, they shall be blest, inas- 
much as they will render him any assistance in his mission they 
will be doing the will of God and shall not lose their reward; 
and we desire that all Saints may use their efforts to sustain him 
in this important mission which he is called to fulfill by their faith, 
prayers, and brotherly love according to the grace of God ; for he 
is qualified to teach in all things pertaining to the Church and 
and Kingdom of God established in these last days. Therefore, 
dear brethren, we would say unto you in conclusion be humble 
and faithful and hearken diligently unto the counsel of this our 
beloved brother in the Lord, Elder Wilford Woodruff, and the 
blessings of the Lord will attend you, in the name of Jesus Christ. 

Brigham Young, 

President of the Twelve. 

Willard Richards, 




Departure. — Route. — Visits Home of Solomon Mack. — A Peculiar 
Dream. — On the Ocean. — Copyright of Doctrine and Covenants. — 
Visit to Scotland. — Lemington. — Troubles in Nauvoo. — Condition of 
the Mission. — Preparation for His Return. 

August 28th, 1844, was the day appointed for the departure 
of Wilford Woodruff and his companions to the British Mission. 
Those who were to accompany him were his wife and two chil- 
dren, Hyrum Clark and wife, and Captain Dan Jones and wife. 
He said good-by on the Temple Block at Nauvoo to his fellow 
members of the Twelve and started at once for Chicago whither 
he and his companions were conveyed by teams. 

On the 8th of September, they left Chicago on tne propellor, 
Oswego, and made their journey eastward on the Lakes. They 
stopped about three hours at Manatou Islands where he with 
others had been wrecked on the Cheasapeake in September, 1841. 
While here they carved their names on some white stones, and also 
the events associated with the wreck. At midnight while on their 
way a fire alarm was sounded and the passengers were brought 
together by terror of the alarm. The flame, however, was soon 
extinguished and they all retired again to their rest. They contin- 
ued their journey on Lake Erie, the Williams Canal, and Lake 

Elder Woodruff then went by rail to his birthplace in Farm- 
ington, Connecticut, where he paid his aged father another visit. 
While he was laboring among the Saints in and about Boston, his 
wife paid a visit to her home in Scarboro, Maine. The branches 
of the Church in Boston and Lowell were not in a healthy con- 
dition. He, therefore, worked zealously to bring about a refor- 
mation and to warn the Saints against some iniquities which had 
crept into the Church. 

While in the Eastern States he visited the home of Lucy 
Smith's brother, Soloman Mack. The old homestead of Mother 
Smith awakened within him a feeling of reverence which he had 
for the Prophet, and for the scenes associated with his mother's 


From Vermont he went to Scarboro, Maine, to join his wife 
and children there. Leaving his oldest rhild, Phoebe, at the home 
of Ezra Carter, his father-in-law, he left with his wife and young- 
est child, Susan, for New; York. The scenes of his former mis- 
sionary experiences in the Eastern States were both familiar 
and interesting to him. He knew the inroads that are often made 
upon the faith of the saints when left too long witnout a shep- 
herd. He encouraged, admonished, and warned them to be faith- 
ful to the covenants they had made. He makes note in his jour- 
nal during this visit of October 22, 1844, the last day set by the 
Millerites for the second coming of Christ. 

Speaking of his visit to Maine he says: "While I was at 
the home of my father-in-law I had a peculiar dream. Much 
of it was unutterable and cannot be written; indeed, I do not 
comprehend it myself. Among other things I was called with 
the Twelve to hold the keys of the Kingdom in all the world. I 
traveled with them over much of the earth and I also traveled 
through many countries alone. When I finished my journey I 
saw many things which I cannot write, but in the end, Joseph, 
the Prophet, assisted me to come where he was and pointed out to 
me my place and work. I immediately entered into the duties of 
the new calling to which I was appointed. 

The same night I had another dream. I was in the presence 
of the Prophet, and was conversing with him about his death. 
I told him I felt bad over it, and that had I known he would have 
been t^ken so soon I should have conversed with him more while 
he lived. I would have asked him many questions. In reply he 
said that it was not his fault that I did not." 

Whatever the significance of these dreams may have had, they 
clearly indicated the loving remembrance in which he held his 
great leader. Around the name and memory o£ the man there was 
to him a great halo. The influence of Joseph Smith upon the 
life of Wilford Woodruff never waned. There was something 
about this modern Prophet that invited the veneration of his de- 
voted followers who proclaimed his name and mission from the 
housetops of every part of the world where their duties and 
missions might take them. 

After reaching New York on the 29th of November, he paid 
a visit to Elder Jedediah M. Grant who was then performing a 

IN THE BRITISH MISSION, 1844-45-46. 235 

mission in Philadelphia. On his return to the former city he 
made preparation for his voyage to Europe. He speaks of a 
letter he received in New York from President Young in which 
the latter gives him an account of the reckless and unwarranted 
course of William Smith and George J. Adams. On the 8th he 
and his party, together with Milton Holmes and Leonard Hardy, 
set sail for Liverpool on the packet ship, John R. Skiddy. On 
the 11th they encountered a severe storm at sea, a storm which 
greatly terrified the passengers. "We kneeled down/' he said, 
"and unitedly prayed that the storm might cease and that the 
wind might change so that we could go forward and not back- 
ward. In a short time the wind suddenly ceased and finally 
changed to the southwest which gave us a fair wind." 

Christmas day they passed upon the ocean. On the 28th 
they entered the Irish Channel where they were driven about 
for some days by foul winds. Finally on the 3rd of ^January, 
1845, they landed in Liverpool with feelings of thanksgiving and 
prayer for their safe arrival. They were twenty-seven days at 

The day following their arrival they were met by Elders 
Hedlock and Ward. They inquired into the affairs of the mis- 
sion and on January 5th he addressed the people in Music Hall. 
They made their headquarters with a Brother William Powell, 
who, Elder Woodruff observes, boarded the elders for a quarter 
of a century. 

The new year witnessed the beginning of his active work 
in the missionary field. Arrangements had to be made for the 
emigration of the saints to Nauvoo. In those days they went to 
New Orleans, thence up the Mississippi to Nauvoo. Conferences 
had to be visited, business affairs of the mission transacted, and at- 
tention given to the opening of new fields for missionary activi- 

The work in the British Mission, however, did not occupy 
wholly the thoughts and feelings of Elder Woodruff. He had 
left Nauvoo in an unsettled condition, the future of that city was 
full of uncertainty. The work on the Temple was all important, 
with the conviction he had long since formed that that sacred 
structure must be completed. Letters from home, however, 
brought him encouragement and assurances. President Young 


wrote him encouraging letters informing him of the unity and 
prosperity of the Church in America. He also told him of the 
call of Parley P. Pratt to the presidency of the Eastern States 
Mission. He explained the plan to publish a paper in New York 

On the 16th of March special conference was held in Man- 
chester. Elder Woodruff was there with his two counselors, 
Reuben Hedlock and Thomas Ward. He mentions the fact 
that there were present five other high priests, thirty elders, 
twenty-one teachers, and four deacons. The conference there 
was crowded with eager listeners, both members and non-members 
of the Church. "The spirit of the Lord," he said, "was with 
us. Love and union pervaded the congregation. It was a scene 
that made the heart glad when we beheld in a foreign land so 
many Saints assembled, Saints united in the everlasting covenant. 
I had often thought how much I would like to see the Prophet 
Joseph meet with a conference of Saints in England. It was not 
granted, however, to the British Nation to have the Prophet of 
God in that land. This was one of the most interesting confer- 
ences I had ever attended abroad. It fulfilled a prophecy I had 
made in the House of the Lord in Kirtland in 1837 to the effect 
that I should attend a conference with Elder Milton Holmes in 
the British Isles." 

These old associates of Wiford Woodruff, men tried and 
true, were always held in loving remembrance by him. He loved 
those who loved God. The names o.f those old-time friends lin- 
gered in his memory throughout all the years of a long, busy life. 

Since he could conveniently do so, immediately after the 
Manchester conference, he repaired to Idle, in Yorkshire, that he 
might visit the last resting place of the remains of Elder Lorenzo 
Barnes, the first elder in this dispensation who had laid down his 
life in a foreign land. It was not that fact alone which brought 
forth this respect. The memory of Lorenzo Barnes grew out 
of an old-time companionship in their early associations, and es- 
pecially in the journey of Zion's Camp. Of this visit to the grave 
of his beloved friend he writes: "Before arriving we passed 
through a beautiful green valley which is located on the top of a 
hill. The fields of grass were as green as in May, although it was 
now February. This gave to the landscape a charm both pictur- 

IN THE BRITISH MISSION, 1844-45-46. 237 

esque and inspiring. As we traveled the road, we reflected that 
we were covering the footsteps of a departed brother who had 
traversed the same roadway many a time in his mission to dissemi- 
nate the teachings of Jesus Christ. I felt sorrowful, I was filled 
with meditation. We called upon Elder Thomas Coraingly and 
family who cared for Elder Barnes in his last sickness. They 
pointed out to us the room where he spent the last hours of his 
mortal life. 

• "After taking some refreshments we walked to the church- 
yard where we gazed upon the peaceful, silent grave of our de- 
parted brother. My feelings were sensitive and sad. While stand- 
ing over his grave I offed up a prayer to Israel's God that I too 
might die the death of the righteous, that my end might be as 
peaceful and secure as that of our departed brother/' 

There is an illustration in that prayer, a marked character- 
istic in the life of Wilford Woodruff. The burden of his thoughts, 
the great object of his supplication was that he might endure to 
the end. What the end should be was with him the great con- 
cern of his life. He envied those, if he ever envied at all, who 
were valiant in every crisis and who were steadfast to the death. 
To him there was no triumph in life like the triumph in death. He 
was not so concerned about worldly greatness, about the race of 
the swift, nor the battle of the strong; what he sought above all 
else was endurance, that endurance which, after all, contains the 
greatest virtue, as it embodies the greatest strength. Yet often 
men underrate the supreme value of endurance in their ambi- 
tion to be great and strong. 

On the 23rd of September, Elder Woodruff attended a con- 
ference in Bradford. The meetings were attended by large num- 
bers. Elder Elijah F. Sheets, long and honorably known through- 
out Utah as Bishop Sheets, was then presiding over that confer- 
ence. Of that occasion he writes in his journal: "The congre- 
gation was as still as death." He spoke upon the mission and 
teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith whose recent martyrdom 
had still its mournful affects upon the Saints who were sorely dis- 
appointed that they had not the opportunity in life to hear the 
words that dropped from the lips of him whom God had called 
to open, the great dispensation of the last days. 

"On my birthday, March 1st, 1845, I received a letter from 


a friend. It contained a copy of a letter dated Pittsburg, Jan- 
uary 30th, 1845. and was written by John Greenbow to his father 
in Kendall. The letter contained a statement to the effect that he 
was getting the Doctrine and Covenants stereotyped and that he 
would bring the plates to England for the purpose of printing, 
publishing, and copyrighting the book so that the Church could 
not print and publish it. This was a bold scheme by apostates 
to steal the book containing the revelations of God to the Church. 
There was in this proposed action, no doubt, an intention to 
change the wording and thus deceive the world. I regarded the 
receipt of the letter as nothing less than providential, an inter- 
position of our Heavenly Father who knew the evil design of the 
wicked and therefore caused the letter to come into my hands. I 
spent the day examining the laws of England relative to copy- 

This information aroused Elder Woodruff to immediate ac- 
tion, and as early as June 7, 1845, he secured the copyright of 
the book which was entered at Stationer's Hall, England. 

On the 9th of March Elder Woodruff records the fact that 
he held conference in Preston where he visited the old cock-pit, 
where Elders Kimball and Hyde first openly declared the mes- 
sage of the gospel to the people of England, and where they were 
soon followed by Willard Richards. He with his companion also 
walked up and down the river where so many hundreds of the 
Saints had been baptized. At the Preston conference he men- 
tions the fact that there were several branches represented with 
the total membership of five hundred souls. This was the first 
conference organized in the British Mission eight years before 
by Heber C. Kimball. 

Throughout Elder Woodruff's journal of those times may be 
found minute descriptions of historical places and of public monu- 
ments. He was also deeply interested in the history of the coun- 
tries which he visited, and his journal shows the special signifi- 
cance which historical monuments had to his mind. He further 
knew that his sympathy and interest in the people would be in- 
creased by knowledge of their national history and of those con- 
ditions which in the past had been foremost in shaping their char- 
acter. Many an elder has, no doubt, realized the mistake of either 
falsely or imperfectly estimating the character of those whose 

IN THE BRITISH MISSION, 1844-45-46. 239 

ear he was seeking to gain. Elder Woodruff's journal shows, 
however, that he greatly appreciated the superior qualities of 
the English people and their great contributions to the system 
of free governments. From the history of the English people he 
often found it convenient to take his text; in short, he made him- 
self at home among the English by his knowledge of them and 
their institutions. 

On the 13th of March he left Liverpool, on the steamer 
Commodore, for Scotland, whither he went to attend a confer- 
ence in Glasgow. He was accompanied by his counselors Hed- 
lock and Ward, also by Elder Banks. They reached the mouth 
of the Clyde River at six o'clock in the morning. The high- 
lands were covered with snow and a severe storm was raging 
in Glasgow. On the way they passed tlje famous rock known in 
Scottish history as Dumbarton on which was then stationed a 
regiment of soldiers to protect the river Clyde. He also mentions 
Bell's monument erected in memory of John Bell who was the 
first to run a steamer up the river Clyde to Glasgow. 

On the evening of their arrival, a council was held with the 
officers of the Church in that city. Two days later a conference 
was held in Felon's Hall. There, fifteen branches of the Church 
were represented containing a total membership of 1,065 persons. 
There were present also thirty-five elders, fifty-one priests, thirty- 
seven teachers, and twenty-four deacons. Then, as now, Scot- 
land was the home of a large number of the blood of Israel. 

While here, he paid visits to Cots Bridge, Whifflett, and Ster- 
ling. He also visited manufacturing establishments and historical 
places. He found special interest in those places that were so full 
of the memories of Bruce and of Wallace and of John Knox. The 
company later went to Endinburgh where they visited the Saints 
and the chief historical places about that city. The conference 
there consisted of eleven branches with the membership of 409 
souls. He was particularly interested in the high cliff known as 
Authur's Seat. It was there that Elder Orson Pratt who first 
brought the gospel to Edinburgh was wont to go that he might 
engage himself in meditation and prayer. This elevation affords 
a most excellent view of the city and its surroundings. 

Leaving Edinburgh the company returned to Liverpool where 
a conference was held on the 30th of March, 1845. At this con- 


ference there were present four high priests, eighteen elders, thir- 
teen priests, and eight teachers. It consisted of twelve branches 
with a membership of 676 souls. 

Liverpool was then, as it has ever since been, the headquarters 
of the Church in Great Britain. Preparations were made at the 
Liverpool conference for the general conference of the British 
Mission to be held April 6th in Manchester. The meetings there 
convened in Science Hall. It was the largest conference up to 
that time ever held in the British Mission. This mission at that 
time contained many of the finest characters ever known in the 
Church. The men who embraced the gospel, as a whole, in those 
days were strong characters whose endurance and whose will 
power peculiarly fitted them for the pioneer work they were soon 
to undertake in the development of this inter-mountain region. 

Upon his return to Liverpool, Elder Woodruff sent the 
following epitaph to Elder E. F. Sheets to be placed upon the ■ 
tombstone of Elder Lorenzo D. Barnes : "In memory of Lorenzo 
D. Barnes, who died on the 20th of December, 1842, aged thirty 
years. He was a native of the United States, an elder of the 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a member of the 
high priests' quorum and also Zion's Camp in A. D. 1834, and 
the first gospel messenger from Nauvoo who has found a grave in 
a foreign land. 

"Sleep on, Lorenzo, but ere long from this 

The conquered tomb shall yield her captured prey. 

Then with thy Quorum shalt thou reign in bliss 
As king and priest for an Eternal Day." 

The latter part of April he paid a visit to Newton where he 
examined the great vitriol works which are among the largest 
in the world. He also went through the great engine factory at 
that place where a number of the brethren were working. They 
were men well qualified to carry on the work in all its branches. 
He relates the circumstances of a peculiar tradition of a church 
in the vicinity of the city: "From the Newton Engine Factory 
I walked several miles through very pleasant scenery consisting 
of green fields, hedges, trees, and gardens. I visited a church 

IN THE BRITISH MISSION, 1844-45-46. 241 

on the side of which was the figure of a pig in stone, and a stone 
was hung around its neck. According to tradition the materials 
for this church were drawn to another place quite a distance from 
where the church now stands. The pig came along and took 
a stone in his mouth and carried it, squealing as he went. The 
pig finally dropped the stone on the spot where the church now 
stands. The circumstance the people regarded as an omen and 
erected their church on its present site." 

In the beginning of May he visited the churches in Preston 
and Blackburn and then walked with Brother Speakman to 
Whaley where he visited the old Abbey, the largest he had ever 
seen. It covered several acres of ground and was then almost in 
total ruin. It was built as early as one thousand A. D. 

The following day they visited the Jesuit College at Stoney- 
hurst. On Sunday May 11th they attended the Clithero con- 
ference. Of this conference the following is taken from his 
journal: "Elder Speakman was called to preside in the after- 
noon, the Sacrament was administered and the power of God 
rested so abundantly upon the congregation that many were 
moved to tears." (This is the conference of which Brother Kimball 
speaks in his journal.) "I was so overwhelmed by the spirit of 
God and the simplicity of the people that I could scarcely speak. 
They were like little children, as pure-minded and innocent as 
angels. Many of them bore their testimony to the work of God." 

On the 15th of the same month, he took a steamer for Carlisle 
to attend a conference there. Of the steamship and voyage he 
wrote. "It was newly painted from stem to stern and we could 
not sit down without carrying away the paint. I accordingly 
paid two shillings for the use of a bunk among the sailors. I 
had no sooner gone below than I was enveloped in the most horrid 
stench rising from a cargo of guano. I lay down but became as 
sick as death and vomited at intervals for five hours. I was 
strained to such a degree that blood ran out of my nose. The sail- 
ors filled the place with tobacco smoke which was more intol- 
erable than the other stench which I had to endure. This was 
the most horrible night I ever passed at sea. We reached port at 
two o'clock in the morning. I crossed the ferry and took a canal 
boat to Carlisle." 



At the Carlisle conference six branches of the Church were 
represented and the membership of the conference was 165. He 
returned, at the close of the conference, to Liverpool by the same 
boat which on the return voyage, however, was loaded with 
sheep, horses, and cattle. 

His journal at this time contains the following: "On the 
24th of May, which was the seventh day of the week, at six 
o'clock in the morning, the last stone was laid on the Temple of 
the Lord at Nauvoo with shouts of joy and 'Glory to God in 
the Highest/ The Lord finished his work on the seventh day 
and rested/' 

On the 6th of June, 1845, President Woodruff left Liver- 
pool for London by rail for the purpose of securing the copy- 
right of the Doctrine and Covenants. He immediately employed 
a printer and published three thousand copies. This was the 
first edition of that book published in the British Mission. 

As the 27th of June approached, President Woodruff ap- 
pointed that day a day of prayer and fasting throughout all the 
churches of the British Isles. It was the day of the martyrdom 
oi Joseph and Hyrum. On the 18th of the following month there 
was born to him in Liverpool a son whom he named Joseph, in 
honor of the Prophet. 

On the 13th of September he attended a conference at Man- 
chester. That conference then numbered 1,769 souls, including 
44 elders, 99 priests, 57 teachers, and 27 deacons. During the 
three months preceding this conference, there had been baptized 
into the Church in that conference a hundred and fifteen souls. 

On October 5th he paid a visit to the Lemington confer- 
ence. There was much prejudice at that place against the Saints. 
Shortly before this visit there, mobs had assembled and broken 
up the bannisters, stairs, benches, and tables in the building 
where the Saints met for worship. Of Lemington he said : "This 
is one of the first aristocratic towns in England. Here the nobility 
come together for the select society of their own class, and be- 
cause of the sulphur springs at this place. The streets and build- 
ings of the town are rich and splendid in appearance." 

. Of Warwick Castle in that region he says : "It is con- 
sidered the most splendid castle in England and is furnished 

IN THE BRITISH. MISSION, 1844-45-46. 243 

with all the magnificence which art and the wealth of Earldom 
could bestow upon it. It is 333 feet long and is divided into a 
large number of rooms. The walls are hung with gorgeous 
tapestry, and the rooms furnished with the costliest furniture and 
the richest damask. Chairs, tables, and stands were inlaid with 
pearl, and other precious stones. Some of these articles of furni- 
ture cost seventy-five thousand dollars each. From the windows of 
the castle we looked out upon the stately cedars of Lebanon, upon 
oaks, firs, and a great variety of shrubbery. The castle is eight 
hundred years old. The tower is 150 feet high/' 

Elder Woodruff always availed himself of every opportunity 
to visit historic places which he describes at great length in de- 

From Warwick Castle Elder Woodruff went with his coun- 
selor, Hedlock, to Birmingham. Here they were received with 
great demonstration, and preparations were made for a joyous 
reception for the President of the Mission. Five hundred Saints 
awaited Elder Woodruff and his companions as they entered 
the door, and round after round of applause went up to greet 
them. There was such clapping of hands and stamping of feet 
that the room in which they were gathered trembled. All wished 
to shake the hand of their President and it was with great diffi- 
culty that he reached the stand upon entering the room. He 
talked to the people at some length. The manifestation of love 
for him, however, was not confined to Birmingham. He enjoyed 
the affection and enthusiasm of the Saints wherever he went. 

While all this enthusiasm was manifested by the Saints in 
the British Mission, their brethren and sisters over the sea in 
the city of Nauvoo were filled with deep anxiety and fear. Mobs 
were gathering against the Saints and the enemy were pressing 
in upon them with the spirit of hatred that brought depression 
and sorrow to the hearts of the people in the beautiful city of 
Nauvoo, which was fast reaching its doom. 

He called a meeting of his counselors and the leading men 
before whom he laid the spiritual and temporal conditions of 
the Church in England and gave them some idea of conditions 
at home. Soon thereafter he received word from President 
Young that the mob was growing in numbers and in violence, 


that the only terms of peace they would accept from the Saints 
was their exile from the state. This condition of affairs Elder 
Woodruff characterizes in his journal as unjust, tyrannical, and 
un-American. Such news naturally depressed his spirit greatly 
and made his continuance in the British Mission so uncertain 
that he looked forward for an early release. He at once called 
a special conference to be held in Manchester December 14, 1845. 
According to the statistics he gives, there were during the eight 
months previous 1573 baptized. The total membership of the 
Church in the Brtish Isles had now reached 11,032 exclusive of 
those in the Staffordshire conference which were not reported 
at that time. There were reported in the priesthood one Apostle, 
eight high priests, 392 elders, 590 priests, 311 teachers, and 188 
deacons. This would make, including those of the Staffordshire 
conference something like 1,500 men in the mission bearing the 
priesthood. Those were days of marvelous activity in proselyt- 
ing. Within eight years the Church had grown in that land to 
large proportions, and the people were constantly emigrating to 

On Christmas Evening of that year he attended with his 
wife St. John's Market where high mass was held in the Catho- 
lic Church. This was the first time in his life that, he had at- 
tended such services. He desired to acquaint himself with the re- 
ligious ceremonies as well as the religious beliefs of others, and 
took advantage of opportunities to learn all he could in view 
of his probable return in the near future to Nauvoo. 

His release soon came and he began at once to put the 
Church financially as well as spiritually in a safe and prosperous 
condition. He reported property in excess of the debts to the 
amount of 574 pounds and 16 shillings. This was over $2800.00. 
Wherever a financial trust was put upon him he regarded his 
duties in the matter as both sacred and important. All his life 
long he guarded himself against the temptations that 50 fre- 
quently overtake men in administering the property of others. 
He fully realized that financial dishonor robs men not only of the 
confidence of their fellow-men but of the blessings of God. He 
was scrupulously careful to account for every farthing entrusted 
to him, and his presidency, therefore, of the British Mission was 

IN THE BRITISH MISSION, 1844-45-46. 245 

marked both by zeal in preaching the gospel, and by high-minded 
honesty in the administration of funds. 

The year 1845 was now drawing to a close. During the 
entire year his work had been directed in a foreign land. He had 
personally baptized but few, had administered to something like 
a hundred persons, published three thousand copies of the Doc- 
trine and Covenants, and twenty thousand copies of the Proclam- 
ation of the Twelve Apostles. He had collected three hundred 
pounds for the Nauvoo Temple and had been indefatigable in 
the management of the British Mission. 

He was now released to return home. On the 3rd of Jan- 
uary, 1846, he visited Preston. On the 10th he made a feast 
for a few of his brethren, and on the 15th took his family on 
board the ship Liverpool. He went with them 10 miles and then 
returned to the shore. It was planned that his wife should go 
with the Saints then emigrating to Nauvoo. As soon as the business 
of the mission could be attended to, he expected to leave, himself. 
He wrote a valedictory for the Millennial Star and on the 23rd 
of January he set sail for America and arrived in New York 
March 6th. The voyage was uneventful except that the second 
mate fell overboard and was lost at sea. He was performing 
some perilous duty that he did not require of his men. The voy- 
age at that season of the year was attended by cola weather and 
the usual winter storms. They were forty-three days en route. 

After reaching the United States, he paid a hasty visit to 
his old home in Connecticut where his father ana step-mothei 
were preparing to emigrate to Nauvoo. He also went to Maine 
where he found his daughter who had remained there during 
his absence. They reached Nauvoo in his father's party on the 
13th of April. He says: "We stopped at Keokuk, and at two 
o'clock in the afternoon we began to ascend the rapids. I took 
my spy glass and enjoyed a view of the city and the Temple 
in the distance. They looked very beautiful to me." 

He had been a zealous mission president. He kept a care- 
ful record. He attended with scrupulous care to all the details 
of the mission. He made himself familiar with the conditions 
in every conference. He promoted peace and good will among the 
Saints everywhere throughout Great Britain. He was humble 


and unassuming. He was simply the instrumentality of God's 
purposes in promulgating the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was de- 
void of those ambitions that engender jealousy, misgivings, and 
hatreds. His own industrious life inspired those with whom he 
was associated with the same indefatigable spirit with which he was 
possessed. To- this day the landmarks of his mission in Great 
Britain are pointed out to the elders who perform ministerial 
labors there. He is referred to as a model missionary and is a 
man with a record that others are happy to emulate. 



Dedication of the Temple in Nauvoo. — The Exodus to Council Bluffs. 
— Accident to His Father. — Reaches Mt. Pisgah. — Meets Brigham 
Young. — Recruiting of the Mormon Battalion. — Colonel Kane. — 
Departure of the Battalion. — Organizations at Winter Quarters. — 
A Conference with the Chiefs of the Leading Indian Tribes. — 
Explorations. — Remarks by President Young. 

Before Elder Woodruff reached his home in Nauvoo, Presi- 
dent Young with a number of the Saints had already commenced 
their memorable exodus from that city. The Saints were in a 
state of active preparation for their departure westward. The 
mob was active, determined, and vindictive. The hatred against 
the Saints had become so intense among the anti-Mormon ele- 
ment in Western Illinois that it was a source of great disquietude 
among the people of Nauvoo. In the midst of the persecutions, 
however, there had been a faithful devotion to the work on the 
Temple which resulted in its completion and preparation for dedi- 

Under date of April 30th, 1846, Elder Woodruff's journal 
contains the following : "In the evening of this day I repaired to 
the Temple with Elder Orson Hyde and about twenty other 
elders of Israel. There we were all clothed in our priestly robes 
and dedicated the Temple of the Lord, erected to His most holy 
name by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Not- 
withstanding the predictions of false prophets and the threat 
of mobs that the building should never be completed nor dedi- 
cated, their words had fallen to the ground. The Temple was 
now finished and dedicated to Him. After the dedication, we 
raised our voices in a united shout of 'Hosanna to God and the 
Lamb!' After offering our prayers we returned to our homes, 
thankful for the privilege enjoyed in our evening services." 

On May 1st, 1846, a public dedication of the Temple took 
place at which Elder Woodruff opened the services by prayer. 
Elder Orson Hyde made approriate remarks and then offered the 
dedicatory prayer. On Sunday the 3rd the assembly room of 
the Temple was filled and addresses were made by Elders Hyde 


and Woodruff. A point had been gained ; under stress and strain 
the Temple had been completed and dedicated. More, however, 
than the completion of the Temple had been accomplished by the 
construction of that sacred edifice. Its rites and ceremonies had 
enlarged the vision of the Saints and broadened their conceptions 
of eternity. Their relations and obligations to the dead brought 
home to them greater responsibilities than they had ever here- 
tofore imagined. Furthermore, they perceived the importance 
of a new gathering place wherein they might erect other Temples 
to the worship of their God. From that day to the present time, 
temple work has had a peculiar influence upon the lives of the 
Latter-day Saints. It has engendered brotherly love, a spirit 
of unity, and a steadfast devotion to God that perhaps nothing 
else in all their experience in the Church has given them. The 
work in Nauvoo was done; henceforth the city of the Saints was 
to be nothing more to them than a memory until God should de- 
termine otherwise. It brought its joys; but its history was also 
full of sad reminiscences, apostacy, murderous intent, and de- 

"I was in Nauvoo," says Elder Woodruff, "on the 26th of 
May, 1846, for the last time, and left the city of the Saints feel- 
ing that most likely I was taking a final farewell of Nauvoo for 
this life. I looked back upon the Temple and City as they receded 
from view and asked the Lord to remember the sacrifices of His 

Elder Woodruff had already left Nauvoo on the 16th and 
had preached his farewell sermon there on the previous Sunday. 
The farewell of which he now speaks followed his return to 
the City a few days later to obtain goods which he had left 
behind. There he met a company of Saints who had just arrived 
from Pennsylvania. Among them was Brother Sidwell who gave 
to Orson Hyde several hundred dollars for the Camp of Israel. 
He also gave a hundred dollars each for Elders Hyde and Wood- 

The little company of which he had charge consisted of his 
wife and children, his father, and a few other members of the 
family. They had three baggage wagons, one family carriage, six 
yoke of oxen, six cows, four calves, one yearling, and a pair of 
mules, making in all twenty-five head of animals. The father was 


aged and had no grown sons other than Wilford to assist him, 
so that the weight and responsibility fell upon the son. 

There began now the tedious and distressing journey across 
the state of Iowa. The inconveniences of loaded wagons and 
the inclemency of the weather superseded the comforts and con- 
veniences of well-appointed homes. On the first day out their 
wagon mired down in the mud; the wagon tongue and several 
chains were broken in the effort to extricate it. Similar acci- 
dents occurred at intervals, and on the twenty-seventh he says 
in his journal that while his father was trying to climb into the 
wagon fell to the ground. Both wheels of the wagon which was 
loaded with twenty-five hundred pounds ran over his legs. It 
was marvelous that no bones were broken. 

At Farmington, Iowa, they bought a supply of flour consist- 
ing of four barrels. There they crossed the Des Moines River 
at the ferry. They were then twenty-five miles from Nauvoo on 
the 28th day of May. Several days later they overtook the Ramus 
Company consisting of about twenty-five wagons. On the even- 
ing of Sunday the 7th they traveled some distance when they 
came to a long swail which covered a distance of one and a half 
miles. It was wet and miry. He succeeded in getting his car- 
riage across by dark, but in the center of the swamp his baggage 
wagons cut through the turf, and the wheels went down almost 
to the hubs. He worked most of that night in mud and water 
nearly knee deep and at the same time kept a watch upon the 
cattle. About daylight he rolled himself up in a buffalo robe and 
went to sleep. All day Monday they were obliged to rest and 
prepare for the journey the following day. His anxiety to over- 
take the main body of the pioneers led to this violation of his 
custom to refrain wholly from work on the Lord's day. Tues- 
day, the 9th, the company traveled twelve miles and camped with 
a body of Saints from Macedonia. The latter had thiry-one 
wagons. Here and there they were joined by scattered families 
of Saints who were wending their weary way westward. On the 
15th of June they reached the Camp of Israel called Mt. Pisgah. 

President Kimball and others of the Twelve were still ahead. 
Elder Charles C. Rich had been left in charge at Mt. Pisgah. 
There were many of his old-time friends there and the meeting 
brought with it reminiscences of earlier days. There was an ex- 


change of the experiences which they had undergone since Broth- 
er Woodruff had left them for his mission, more than a year be- 
fore. *T encamped," he says, "on the east side of the creek near 
the Camp of Israel. Here I learned that Brother Noah Rogers 
recently from a mission to the South Sea Islands had died and 
was the first to find a resting place in the burial ground at Mt. 
Pisgah. Brother Turnbow, one of our company, lost a child 
today. I was present at its funeral." Lorenzo Snow was also 
in this company and was suffering from sickness, but found great 
relief in the administration of Elder Woodruff. 

On the 21st he preached to a large congregation of Saints 
and was followed by Elders Rich, Benson, and Sherwood. That 
day a messenger arrived from President Young, who was at Coun- 
cil Bluffs. The messenger brought a call for one hundred mounted 
men who were to serve as dragoons and as buffalo hunters for the 
Camp of Israel. In response to the call, Elder Woodruff and 
sixty others stepped to the front. He reported the response to 
President Young. 

On the 26th the camp was thrown into some excitement by 
the appearance of Captain Allen and three dragoons of the Unit- 
ed States army. The object of their visit was to raise volunteers 
for the Mexican War. He was sent by Colonel Kearney who was 
acting under instructions from President James K. Polk. These 
messengers were shown every courtesy, but were asked to confer 
with President Young. The day following, Elder Woodruff wrote 
President Young a letter in advance of the messengers who were 
commissioned to make a call for volunteers. 

When the 27th of June arrived, the anniversary of the mar- 
tyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum, Elder Woodruff though in poor 
health at the time addressed the Saints in Pisgah. It was his 
farewell sermon at that place, for on the following day he took 
up his travels again for Council Bluffs. 

"I stopped my carriage," he says, "on the top of a hill in 
the midst of a rolling prairie wherel had an extended view of 
all about me. I beheld the Saints coming in all directions from 
hills and dales, groves and prairies with their wagons, flocks, 
and herds, by the thousands. It looked like the movement of a 

Traveling a few miles from this point of observation he met 


Parley P. Pratt, who was returning from Council Bluffs with a 
message to raise a company of men to go in advance to the Rocky 
Mountains without their families. The Quorum of the Twelve 
had volunteered to go and in Elder Woodruff's breast there was 
a heart-felt desire to take up the proposed pioneer movement in- 
to the wilderness. He therefore hurried on with as much speed as 
the ox-teams could endure. They traveled more than twenty 
miles that day. 

The day following they were overtaken by Parley P. Pratt 
who was returning to Council Bluffs after having delivered his 
message. He was accompanied by Ezra T. Benson who had re- 
cently been chosen to take the place in the Quorum of the Twelve 
formerly occupied by John E. Page. These brethren expressed a 
wish that Elder Woodruff accompany them to the Bluffs. The 
latter, in response, saddled his horse, and leaving his family and 
company, went on to join President Young and those with him 
at the front. 

On the 4th of July they rode ten miles and breakfasted with 
some of the brethren whom they met. To their great surprise they 
were informed that President Brigham Young, Heber C. Kim- 
ball, and Willard Richards were near by on their way to Pisgah 
to raise volunteers for the service of the United States army. 
"We immediately rode down to where they were located." he 
says in his journal. "It was truly a happy meeting. I rejoiced 
to strike hands once more with those noble men. It was the 
first time we had met since I left Nauvoo on my mission to Eng- 
land soon after the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum." 

This changed somewhat his plan of travel, and upon the 
invitation of President Young, Elders Woodruff and Benson re- 
turned with him until he met his family and company with- whom 
he "journeyed to Council Bluffs which he reached on the 7th of 
July, 1846. 

Upon his arrival at the Missouri River, he set about the 
task of raising volunteers for the government service. It was 
about this time that the Saints there were visited by Thomas L. 
Kane from the City of Washington. His interest in the Latter- 
day Saints, his deep and unfeigned sympathy for them, naturally 
awakened* feelings of gratitude toward one whose sympathies 
for them were so genuine. The Coloners description of Nauvoo, 


and his defense generally of the Latter-day Saints, have always 
made his name with them a synonym of friendship. To what 
extent their faith arid beliefs brought conviction to his soul, it 
will perhaps be impossible to say. It is certain, however, that the 
new religion awakened in him some belief that these unpopular 
people were perhaps after all the instrument of a divine providence 
in transforming the religious views of the modern world; for on 
the 7th of September he sought and received a patriarchal bless- 
ing under the hands of father John Smith, who at* the time was 
living in a tent. Elder Woodruff wrote the blessing as it fell 
from the lips of the Patriarch and presented it to the Colonel. 

It was Colonel Kane's belief, and it was so represented by 
him to the Saints, that President Polk was favorable to them and 
had really proposed the Mormon Battalion with the intention in 
his heart of helping them across the plains by government aid. 
There was, however, some skepticism, and a belief among some 
that the whole scheme was an anti-Mormon device, and intended 
to weaken the Saints in their exodus, and make them an easy prey 
to the Indians who might encompass the complete destruction of 
the Saints on the plains. 

Brigham Young and other leaders were actively engaged in 
recruiting men for service in the Battalion. President Young 
had returned from Mt. Pisgah and met in council with the 
Twelve. Colonel Kane was present. Such tasks as these re- 
quired just such enthusiasm and heart- felt conviction as men 
like Wilford Woodruff could give to them. 

On July the 15th Elders Orson Hyde, Parley P. Pratt, and 
John Taylor were appointed to a mission in Great Britain for the 
purpose of regulating the affairs of the Church there and of ap- 
pointing a new presidency over that mission. 

On the 16th of July Elder Woodruff writes : "It was a great 
day in the Camp of Israel. Four companies of volunteers were 
organized and ready for marching. They were brought together 
~"d formed in a hollow square by their captains. They were 
then addressed by several of the Quorum of the Twelve after 
which the Battalion began its march in double file over the 
Redemption Hill, seven miles across the Missouri River bottom 
to the ferry. The brethren who formed these companies left 
their families, teams, wagons, and cattle by the wayside not ex- 


pecting to meet them again for one or two years. They left 
their wives and children to their brethren and to the tender 
mercies of God, before they went. With cheerful hearts they be- 
lieved that they were doing the will of their Heavenly Father. 
As I viewed them I felt as though I was looking upon the first 
Battalion of the army of Israel, engaged in the service of the 
United States." 

Upon the departure of the Battalion, the Twelve proceeded 
at once to ordain Ezra T. Benson who had been- called to their 
Quorum. That evening Elder Woodruff entertained the Apostles 
as his guests at supper. That body of men felt some pride in the 
success that had attended their efforts to enlist the Battalion. 
They were full of joy and were rejoicing together over the satis- 
faction which they felt in accomplishing that which they hoped 
would be of lasting benefit and honor to the Latter-day Saints. 

A few days later while the Battalion of five hundred were 
in camp at the ferry, they were addressed by President Young, 
who bestowed freely upon them his blessings and his promises 
of safety. * After that a concert was given in honor of Colonel 
Allen, the commander of the men, who were now ready to begin 
their long and perilous march to the sea. 

With the departure of the Battalion, another great move in 
the exodus had been made. The way across the plains, however, 
had to be blazed and a route established for the travel of the 
tens of thousands who should follow the first company in quest 
of a home far removed from the confines of civilization, a home 
where the saints of God might enjoy the freedom and the rest 
that had been denied them ever since the organization of the 
Church in April, 1830. 

During that period of sixteen years the Saints had been con- 
stantly fleeing from mobs and from the tyranny of oppressors. 
They were in a state of constant uncertainty and could find com- 
fort and consolation only in the divine assurance that they were 
a peculiar people, a chosen people, destined to open a new and 
marvelous dispensation among the children of men. 

The primitive conditions in which the Saints now found them- 
selves along the banks of the Missouri River naturally gave rise 
to misgivings, murmurings, discontent, and sometimes rebellious 
sentiment. To maintain peace and order under such circum- 


stances was no easy task. The leaders labored early and late 
and urged constantly, peace, fraternity, and good will. A new 
burden had been imposed upon those who were left behind and 
who were required to provide for the welfare of the families 
of the soldiers. About ninety men were appointed among the 
Saints to act as bishops. One of their special duties was to look 
after the families of those who were left dependent upon the 
Church at large. On the 21st of the month a hign council was 
appointed. Isaac Morley became senior member. 

Preparatory to the march across the plains the coming sum- 
mer, some explorations were begun. Elder Woodruff traveled 
along the country of the Big Pigeon River on which the camp 
of the Saints was established. ' On the 25th of July he crossed 
the river to the Nebraska side with his family, wagons, and house- 
hold effects. On the 2nd of August the Twelve met in council 
and decided that Winter Quarters should be established on the 
site then occupied by the camp. On the evening of that day Presi- 
dent Young and Elder Richards called at the tent of Wilf ord Wood- 
ruff where President Young gave him and his family some instruc- 
tions on the subject of the priesthood and of the sealing power. 
That day was also marked by the arrival of a messenger from 
the Mormon Battalion that was now within thirty miles from 

After settling the question of a location for the winter, twelve 
men were selected to serve in the joint capacity of a High Council 
and City Council for the transaction of all business relating to 
the settlement of the Saints during the winter. 

About this time there was a meeting of the Saints with Colo- 
nel Kane, and in it the adoption of certain resolutions of respect 
and gratitude to President Polk for the steps taken by him in 
arming five hundred men and of furnishing them an opportunity 
to reach the valleys of the Rocky Mountains. At this time they 
also urgently protested against the appointment of Lilburn W. 
Boggs, the former governor of Missouri, and a bitter enemy of 
the people, as governor of California and Oregon, a position he 
was anxious to occupy and one which his friends were helping 
him to secure. 

At this time President Young informed Colonel Kane that it 
was the intention of the Saints to settle in the Great Basin, and 


that as soon as they were located to apply for a territorial gov- 
ernment. Thus their plans were early revealed to a tried and 
crusted friend. 

The Sunday following, a meeting was held at a place pre- 
pared for worship, a place capable of seating about three hundred 
people. After the people were addressed by Apostle Woodruff, 
President Young declared that when the Latter-day Saints should 
finally reach their resting place, he would labor hard to build 
another temple. The erection of a temple whose blessings they 
so meagerly enjoyed in Nauvoo was constantly in the mind of 
the leaders who were inspired by a desire to enjoy the ordinances 
for the living and dead which belonged, peculiarly, to the temples 
of God. 

In the management of the affairs at Winter yuarters, the 
Saints were divided into encampments and these again into sub- 
divisions. President Young" took charge of division 1. That 
allotted to Elder Woodruff was No 10. It consisted of thirty- 
six men, thirty-two wagons, nine horses, 129 oxen, 59 cows, four 
mules, and forty sheep. The whole of Winter Quarters con- 
sisted at this time of 549 men, 597 wagons, 229 horses, 2,110 
oxen, 1,168 cows, 49 mules, and 660 sheep. 

The entire population of those that located at Council Bluffs 
at that time is not stated in his journal. 

On August 17 Orrin P. Rockwell arrived in camp and brought 
with him the mail from Nauvoo. The letters from home showed 
that the mob were still active, that some„ of the Saints had 
been whipped in a shameful manner and that there was no hope 
of any return to the city they loved so well. There was nothing 
in the information that reached them from Nauvoo to give the 
least encouragement to any of their number to turn back; their 
hope was now all directed westward. 

There was naturally much suffering in the midst of all the 
exposure to which the Saints were subjected. Elder Woodruff 
records the fact that his wife suffered a great deal from sick- 
ness and it was with great difficulty, that she was kept alive. 

The Mormon Battalion constituted the advance-guard for the 
pioneer movement. It is true that they were taking a route 
different from that which the body of the Saints intended to fol- 
low, but the Battalion was penetrating the great and unknown 


wilderness. Its difficulties would be their difficulties, its hardships, 
their hardships. All news therefore brought back from the Battal- 
ion was discussed by the Saints on the banks of the Missouri with 
intense interest. They had reason to be proud of their repre- 
sentatives in blue. The soldiers were making a good record. They 
were spoken highly of because of their exemplary habits, their 
willing service, and their powers of endurance. 

He writes in his journal of August 22nd that he, in com- 
pany with other members of the Twelve, crossed the river to 
Council Point where they found many of the people sick. They 
went about administering to them, and after rebuking the dis- 
eases that were afflicting the Saints, they went on to what is called 
Redemption Hill. Upon their return to Council Point, they found, 
to their great pleasure and gratification, that the exercises of the 
healing power with which the Lord had clothed them was resulting 
in the restoration of those to whom they 'had administered. 

The leaders here were planning an exodus for the coming 
year. Preparations of all kinds were therefore being made for a 
journey of a thousand miles through the wilderness, the country 
of the red man. The Book of Mormon taught them who the 
red man was and the promises of which some day he should be 
a happy recipient. Their sympathy for the Indian, therefore, 
rested upon religious convictions which they entertained for his 
future, a future in which he would find redemption from the 
slothful and slovenly conditions of life into which he had fallen. 

On the 27th the Twelve and the high council met with the 
representatives of two great Indian tribes. The object of the 
meeting was to get the permission to remain upon their lands and 
use the wood, grass, and water as long as they wished to stay. 
"We first met with the Ottos between whom and the Omahas 
there was a dispute as to who owned the land. The Ottos said 
the land was theirs. The chief with five or six others was pres- 
ent. We talked to him, after which he returned home. We later 
met in council with the Omahas. The old chief's name was Big 
Elk and his son, a young chief, called Young Elk. There were 
also present with them about sixty old men and braves of the 
tribe. As it was late, the council adjourned until the morrow. 
On the 28th we met in the morning with the Omaha chiefs. We 
smoked the pipe of peace and President Young then spoke to 


them through their interpreter. He told them it was our desire 
to winter there ; and if they wished it we would do some work for 
them, make them a field, repair their guns. 

Big Elk replied: '*My son, thou hast spoken well. I have 
all thou hast said in my heart. I have much I want to say. We 
are poor, when we go to hunt game in one place we meet the 
enemy and so in another, and our enemies kill us. We do not 
kill them. I hope we shall be friends. You may stay on these 
lands two years or more. Our young men may watch your cattle. 
We would be glad to have you trade with us. We will warn you 
of danger from other Indians." Much more was said by Big 
Elk after which the council closed and the Indians, after being 
fed, returned to their homes. 

On September 11, 1846, the leaders rode out in search of 
Old Council Bluffs. They built a bridge to cross a creek, and 
after traveling over flats and hills they came to the object of 
their search about sundown. They found that there was once 
on that place some old barracks. Nothing was left of it ex- 
cept the body of the magazine with one gable end. The object of 
this search was to make themselves familiar with the surrounding 
country and to gain information. 

Orson Pratt had been on a visit to the Otto and Omaha In- 
dians, and on his return reported that it was the wish of each of 
these tribes to perform a war dance before the people. The 
Omahas were then on their way to war with the Sioux. 

It was necessary to secure a certain class and a certain 
amount of provisions for the journey of the coming season. Bish- 
op Whitney and several others were delegated to proceed to Saint 
Louis and make the necessary purchases. There was a busy life 
in the camp. As winter approached, men were actively engaged 
in putting up log cabins, making dugouts, and taking what pre- 
cautions they could, under the circumstances, against the inclem- 
ency of the winter season. 

The situation was so full of anxiety and attended by so 
many fears, that it was necessary to keep up the spirits and cul- 
tivate the hopes of the people. Amusements, chiefly dancing, 
were provided. These amusements gave opportunity to unruly 
characters to demonstrate their unworthiness. Mirth, especially 



excessive mirth, breaks down the natural reserve of man and dis- 
closes much of his motives and especially his follies and vices. 

The Saints assembled at that time were gathered from all 
parts of the states and from Great Britam. That community con- 
sisted of men and women of all shades of thought, all traditions, 
beliefs, and customs. The grave and austere, and devoted Saints 
mingled with the light-minded, the indifferent, and the gay. There 
were those that constituted the drift wood of the community. 
They were found piled up where the current had taken them. 
Some in the camp had no faith, others made no pretentions to 
faith. There were young men who were wild and unruly. Such 
conditions naturally gave the leaders much anxiety and brought 
to them some discouragement. They realized that it would be easy 
to bring disorder and confusion into their midst. Recording the 
remarks of President Young to the people on Sunday, Sept. 13th, 
Elder Woodruff quotes as follows : "I wish to say a few words 
upon principle. There is one thing I want you to realize and that 
is that God, angels and saints — Heaven and all of God's creations 
— are governed by law. I want the Camp of Israel to understand 
that we must be so governed. If Heaven were not so controlled, 
what sort of a place would it be ? Every man would be in danger 
of losing his rights and of having them trampled upon. All ce- 
lestial beings are governed by law and order, for the celestial law 
is a perfect order of things, a perfect system of light, law, intel- 
ligence, exaltation, and glory. We do not arrive at this all at once. 
A prophet once declared that we should have precept upon pre- 
cept, line upon line, here a little and there a little until we arrive 
at a fullness of knowledge and glory, even a fullness which reigns 
in the Heavens. 

"We must begin to be governed by law here before we are 
prepared to receive the fullness that reigns in the Heavens. We 
must have law and order in our midst." 

Some agitation was manifested at this time in consequence 
of certain favors received by those who then on the banks of the 
Missouri River were permitted to have more than one wife. Re- 
specting this President Young is quoted as saying : "Some young 
men are jealous for fear I shall receive more blessings, more 
wives, or some other blessings than themselves. These men have 


never preached the gospel in their lives. If they will travel the 
world over in poverty as I have done and on foot with blood in 
their shoes and spend years and years to save the world they will 
cease to be jealous of the blessings that I enjoy. A woman who 
has the spirit of God will join herself to a good man who honors 
and bears the Holy Priesthood. Such a man, if he continues faith- 
ful, will be saved in eternal glory and all who are with him. 

"I am determined that my affections shall be with God. I will 
not allow them to be placed upon things that perish. When 
plagues and disease get hold of our bodies we become loathsome, 
our beauty fades away. Our affections should be placed upon 
things that are noble, exalted, lasting, and glorious. I love an ex- 
alted mind, it is eternal and cannot fade. I want all my affections 
to be subject to God and to the principles of glory and eternal life/' 

A pleasure loving camp in those' days had many of the same 
temptations that beset the pleasure loving world now. Those, 
then, in whose minds every thing was associated with a pleasure 
loving spirit attributed self gratification to the motives of their 
leaders who were then inculcating faith by teaching and practicing 
the doctrine of plural marriage. 

On the 23rd of September the Saints removed their encamp- 
ment from the prairie ridge where they had been located to the 
tableland on the bank of the Missouri River. At the latter place 
a townsite was laid out into blocks, 120 by 40 rods. Each block 
was divided into lots four by ten. 

Two days later Daniel H. Wells and Elder Cutler arrived 
from Nauvoo. At'the meeting on Sunday afternoon of the 27th 
they gave an account of the Battle of Nauvoo, where the Saints 
were engaged in resisting the encroaching mob. Three of the 
Saints were killed and two wounded. It was never known how 
many of the mob lost their lives. The skirmish resulted in a treaty 
which required the Saints to leave the city within five days. The 
little remnant of those compelled to leave was composed chiefly of 
men and women whose circumstances did not permit them to leave 
with the main body of the Church. A few remained to protect the 
property rights of the people who had been driven from the city. 
There were a few who fostered some lingering thoughts of re- 
turning to Nauvoo, or of mercenary advantages in days to come. 


These property rights which the Saints sought to retain only ex- 
cited the cupidity and murderous disposition of the mob. It was 
the property of the Saints they craved and bloodshed did not stand 
between them and the cravings of their own selfish dispositions. 
This lingering remnant was, therefore, inhumanely treated and 
driven into the wilderness without provisions and without shelter. 
Their distress was pitiful. The Battle of Nauvoo removed from 
the hearts of all the Saints the last lingering hope of any return 
to that city. All was gone, their property rights destroyed, and their 
homes passed to new ownerships. The destruction of all hope in 
their return to the city they loved made their undertaking in a 
new and perilous journey the only thing to be reckoned with. 

The first Sunday in October, Orson Pratt, Amasa Lyman, 
and Wilford Woodruff began the organization of the new city of 
Winter Quarters. It was divided into 13 wards, with a bishop 
over each. Thus, responsibility was extended and order more firm- 
ly established throughout the Camp. 

On the 15th Elder Woodruff met with one of those serious 
experiences recorded in his chapter of accidents. He was struck 
by a falling tree and disabled for a number of weeks. While he 
was recovering his little son Joseph was stricken with disease and 
died on the 12th of November. 

On the 17th of that month Elder Woodruff took up again his 
manual labor. Writing in his journal of those times he says: "I 
had never seen the Latter-day Saints in any situation where they 
seemed to be passing through greater tribulations. After being 
exposed to the sufferings of a tedious journey of ten months in 
tents and wagons, they were obliged to build a city of log houses 
numbering more than one thousand. All this work had only a 
temporary enjoyment. We had to go a great distance for wood 
and timber, and it was difficult to secure from the deep ravines 
and hollows where we found it. The labor was hard to endure. 
I was endeavoring to build a log house for myself and one for my 

Quite a number died during the winter of 1846-47, in Win- 
ter Quarters. Elder Woodruff records the death of Sister Ben- 
bow, the wife of his time-honored friend. 

On the 8th of December there was born to him a son whom 


he named Ezra who lived only a few days and was buried by the 
side of his brother Joseph. Thus afflictions and death visited the 
Saints while they were camping along the banks of the Missouri 
River. By the close of that year their numbers reached 3483. 
Christmas day was duly observed and such joy and such gratitude 
as were possible under the circumstances were manifested 
throughout the Camp. 

On the 29th the Twelve met to consider the organization of a 
pioneer company whose duty it would be to set out for the valleys 
the following spring. From now on there was a feverish excite- 
ment in consequence of the preparation going on for the accom- 
plishment of a journey whose vicissitudes they could not even 
imagine. Truly they had to walk in the light of faith. In turn it 
filled their hearts with hope and fond anticipations. Faith taught 
them to look on the bright side of life and anticipate the best, that 
they might endure cheerfully the worst that was to overtake them. 
Thus ended the year 1846 in the life of Wilford Woodruff. 



Arrival of Parley P. Pratt and John Taylor at Winter Quarters. — 
Organization of the Pioneers. — Manner of Forming Camp. — Horse 
Feed Enroute. — Pawnee Indians. — A Practical Joke. — Crossing 
Loup Fork. 

On the outskirts of civilization, near the banks of the Mis- 
souri River, on the 7th day of April, 1847, might have been seen 
a large body of men and women anxiously gazing on a band of 
pioneers just taking their departure from wives and children, 
friends and neighbors, and setting out upon a perilous journey in 
quest of a resting place in the Rocky Mountains. In the hearts 
of wives and friends there was a strange mixture of fear and faith. 
What the outcome would be, none could foresee; and the proba- 
bilities of danger from the hostile red man were only mitigated 
by the fervent faith which had served them well in the trying or- 
deal of other troublous times through which the Church had 
passed. The pioneers were missionaries whose trust in the direc- 
tion and care of an over-ruling Providence was uppermost in their 

Just to the west of Winter Quarters, there arises one of those 
rolling, undulating ridges which skirt the Missouri for many miles. 
When the top of this elevation was reached, Elder Woodruff took 
a parting view of the city, and through his field glasses he could 
see his wife and children whose lingering gaze followed the pio- 
neers as long as they could be seen. 

The first day's journey covered a distance of seven miles from 
Winter Quarters. Naturally enough, many things necessary for 
such a journey had been forgotten ; some needed counsel had been 
overlooked; some words of caution had not been spoken. The 
leaders of the pioneers not only faced the uncertainties of a long 
and tedious journey, but they left behind them a large number of 
brethren and sisters whose welfare and unity might be greatly 
disturbed in the absence of those trusted leaders, whose counsels 
had been their watchword and whose leadership seemed necessary 
for their safety. Under these circumstances a few days passed 
before the company was well on its way. 


In the meantime, Parley P. Pratt had just arrived from his 
mission to Great Britain, and the tidings which this prince of mis- 
sionaries had brought from a foreign land were a matter of su- 
preme importance to the Prophet Brigham Young who returned 
to Winter Quarters to greet the newly arrived missionary. Dur- 
ing this time, Wilford Woodruff was exploring the neighboring 
country. The delay of President Young led him likewise to re- 
turn to Winter Quarters. He was within a half mile of his home 
when he met the Twelve returning to the camp of the pioneers. 
With characteristic submission to order and discipline, he turned 
about without seeing his family and joined the brethren on their 

The camp had scarcely been set in motion when news of* the 
arrival of John Taylor from Great Britain caused the Twelve to 
return again to Winter Quarters. This time they were accom- 
panied by Wilford Woodruff who succeeded in adding to his 
equipment another horse for the journey. These reunions in the 
midst of troublous times were heartfelt demonstrations of broth- 
erly love and mutual good will. The importance of Elder Tay- 
lor's return was enhanced by the fact that he had brought with 
him two sextants, two barometers, two artificial horizons, one cir- 
cle of reflection, and one telescope, which were highly valuable 
for the acquisition of important data along the journey.. The next 
return of the leaders to the camp of the pioneers was final and 
the journey was taken up with renewed enthusiasm and a deter- 
mination to move on unremittingly to the goal of their undertak- 

The first week of the journey was passed in reaching and 
crossing the Elk Horn River which flows into the Platte whose 
banks were soon to be, for most of the distance, the guide of the 
pioneers. It is a stream whose small tributaries were to give the 
Saints considerable trouble in their efforts to get their wagons and 
teams over the treacherous quicksands that were common along 
the banks of the Platte in eastern Nebraska. 

It was during these early days that Jesse G Little returned 
from the Eastern States mission. He brought with him presents 
for the Twelve from friends in the East. "Col. Kane had sent me 
a patent life preserver and a stop compass." Brothers Little, 


Rockwood, and Reading returned to Winter Quarters next morn- 
ing (April 16), and the company continued four miles up the 
Platte. "Before we left this morning, the camp came together 
and was organized as a military body into companies of hundreds, 
fifties, and tens. Stephen Markham and A. P. Rockwood were 
appointed captains of hundreds." Of this organization Brigham 
Young was Lieutenant General and Wilford Woodruff was ap- 
pointed captain of the first ten, an appointment which character- 
ized the man. His nervous energy, his untiring effort, his prompt 
and ready action naturally fitted him for the leading captain. 

"The camp consisted of seventy-three wagons, one hundred 
and forty-three men, three women, and two children, making in 
all one hundred and forty-eight souls. The general orders from 
Brigham Young for the camp were as follows : 'The whole regi- 
ment was to journey in a compact body as they were in an Indian 
country, and every man was to carry his gun loaded. The cap- 
locks were to be shut on a piece of buckskin with the caps ready 
to slip on in an instant in case of attacks ; for flint-locks, guncotton 
or tow was to be put in the pan and the powder flask kept handy to 
prime without delay. Every man was to walk by the side of his 
wagon and not to leave it except sent away by order.' The object 
of all this caution was to prevent accident, for strict discipline 
was necessary while traveling through a hostile Indian country. 

"On Saturday, the 17th," continues Wilford Woodruff, "some 
traders came down from the Pawnees and camped with us over 
night ; they had plenty of buffalo meat dried, and gave us what we 
needed, and informed us that we were in two days' drive of a large 
band of Pawnees. 

"On the following morning President Young called the cap- 
tains together and gave the following instructions : 'We were 
to start in the morning, two wagons abreast. All who were not 
driving teams were to carry their guns and walk beside the 
wagons, and no man was to go hunting or get out of sight of the 
wagons. In the morning the bugle was to be blown at five 
o'clock and the pioneers were to arise and pray, cook, eat, and 
feed the horses and start at the call of the bugle at seven o'clock. 
In the evening the bugle was to be blown at half past eight when 
all were to go to prayers in their several wagons and retire by 


nine o'clock. Each Saturday night we were to pitch what tents 
we had and prepare our camps for rest on the Sabbath.' 

"On the morning of the 19th of April, Prof. Pratt took an 
observation and found the latitude to be 41 degrees 27 minutes and 
5 seconds. The point of observation was on the north bend of the 
Platte, 10J miles north of where the Saints had crossed the river. 
It was while camping at this place that Elder Little overtook the 
Saints on his return from the Eastern States mission. On the eve- 
ning of that day we camped near a grove of timber on the banks of 
the Platte where we formed a semi-circle. The river on one side 
was our defense, and one of the four wheels of each wagon was 
driven up to the back wheel of the wagon ahead of it, and all the 
horses and cattle were taken into the corral thus formed so that 
we might be secure against the Indians. There was a hard wind 
during the night and the morning was fair with a strong south- 
west wind which covered our wagons with sand dust." 

At this season of the year, the grass was not sufficiently high 
and matured for suitable feed for the horses; and during the early 
part of the journey cottonwood trees were cut down in order that 
the horses might gnaw off the bark and browse from the limbs, a 
kind of food which the horses at this season of the year seemed 
to enjoy. The ration of corn for each horse was two quarts per 

On Tuesday, the 20th, three islands in the Platte River were 
reached, the largest of which, including an area of about ten acres, 
was covered with timber. Thereafter for miles along the river 
there continued a chain of islands. 

It was about this time that they approached the inhabited ter- 
ritory of the Pawnee Indians who were somewhat given to petty 
thefts, but not so dangerous as the Sioux. Here and there indi- 
vidual Indians of the Pawnee tribe would approach in conceal- 
ment in the grass the horses of the pioneers and a few were stolen, 
presumably by the Indians. What caused the Pawnees to gather 
in villages about 150 miles from the Missouri River was doubtless 
the presence of large herds of buffaloes, and the further fact that 
they were far removed from the outposts of civilization on that 
great river. 

The question of food was, of course, an important considera- 


tion; and the existence of game at this stage of the journey gave 
rise to the appointment of a body of men to be known as the hunt- 
ers. Among the names given, that of Wilford Woodruff does not 
appear/ and yet he was a skilled hunter and fisher all his subse- 
quent life, and the part he took in the buffalo chases indicates 
that he was an excellent hunter in fact, if not so named. 

In the spring of the year, the rain and the wind produced a 
sort of raw weather which created a chilly sensation and conse- 
quent discomfort". In consequence of the rains, the streams were 
often swollen and means for crossing them had to be improvised. 
It was necessary, therefore, to send men in advance of the pio- 
neers for the purpose of constructing bridges or selecting fords 
and making general observations respecting the lay of the coun- 
try. On the 20th they crossed a small stream called Shell Creek. 
From this point Elders Woodruff and Pratt went ahead for the 
purpose of taking observations. That night they cut down Cot- 
tonwood trees from the barks of which their horses fed. 

The following day the ox-teams started at 7 o'clock, an 
hour in advance of the horses, and in the course of the journey 
an Indian made his appearance on a mound about five miles dis- 
tant. He was mounted on a pony. He soon disappeared but in a 
short time again came in sight at a full gallop. As he approached 
the camp he was met by the brethren who shook hands with him 
in a friendly manner and with the seven others who had- accom- 
panied him. They were escorted through the camp that they 
might learn that there were no hostile intentions among the pio- 

"At 12 :30 we came in sight of seventy horses and mules, and 
soon in sight of a large Pawnee village on the north side of Loup 
Fork, and also one on the south side of it. We drove on by the 
village, and soon they began to sally out to meet us. We camped 
in the form of a half-moon, the bank of the river forming a 
parallel line in front. The Indians, numbering about two hundred 
on the south side of the river, came down to the shore. Some 
waded over and about seventy-five came into camp, including the 
grand chief of the nation, with many war chiefs. We met them 
and made them presents of four pounds of tobacco, fifteen pounds 
of lead, powder, fish-hooks, beads, flour, salt, etc., but still they 


were not satisfied; considering our numbers, they thought they 
ought to have more. When we left the ground, the Indians ap- 
peared very dissatisfied, but we harnessed up our horses and drove 
on to Looking-glass Creek and camped at its mouth for the night 
on the bank of the Loup Fork. 

"After our horses were turned out, we were called together ; 
and in consequence of the dissatisfaction of the Indians, a guard of 
one hundred men was called for. The Quorum of the Twelve with 
nearly the whole camp volunteered to stand guard, one-half of 
them the fore part of the night, and a half the other part. We 
also had a picket guard of five men with their mules at each 

"I was one of the picket guards. We had a hard wind with 
rain in the afternoon which continued a portion of the time that 
I was on guard. I rolled myself up in my buffalo robe and let the 
wind and rain beat on me. We were released at about one o'clock 
and went to rest. No Indians appeared during the night. 

"Looking-glass Creek was crossed fifteen minutes before nine 
on the day following, April 22nd, and a westerly course continued 
and Beaver Creek reached at noon. Prof. O. Pratt took the 
meridian observation of the sun by the sextant for the latitude 
which was found to be 41 degrees 25 minutes and 13 seconds. He 
also made other observations. 

"We crossed Beaver Creek at half past two o'clock and trav- 
eled seven miles and came to the Pawnee missionary station and 
camped for the night. The bluff was skirted with oaks on the 
north side of the road in the hills. We kept out a guard through 
the night as we were in danger of the Sioux on the one side and 
the Pawnees on the other. 

"While watering the horses at the creek at the station this 
evening, Brother George A. Smith's horse mired, pitched forward, 
and jumped on him, treading upon his feet and breast, and hold- 
ing him fast in the mud until I caught the horse by the bit and 
backed him off. I was fearful that Brother Smith was badly in- 
jured, but found that he was not." 

On the morning of the 23rd, the camp enjoyed some diversion 
in one of those practical jokes which characterize men traveling 
under similar circumstances. Some of the guards during the 


night had fallen asleep, and when awakened, found their guns 
taken. Col. Markham had lost his hat. Fatigue from their du- 
ties and arduous labors made it difficult for men to remain awake 
when nature so persistently demanded sleep. 

As the company made its way along Loup Fork River, a 
fording place was sought, as the purpose of the pioneers was to 
follow up the Platte into which Loup Fork emptied. In the eve- 
ning a Pawnee missionary station was reached — a station which 
had been abandoned. There were several good log houses and 
considerable land under cultivation. Here they found large lots 
of old and new iron, all apparently left to ruin. A quarter of a 
mile below the missionary village was a government station 
where Father Chase had been employed as a government farmer 
at a salary of $300 a year. When, however, Major Harvey 
learned that Father Chase had joined the Mormons, he was dis- 
missed from service. The Sioux had burned the government sta- 
tion houses and blacksmith shop, but had spared the missionary 
village. Some of the hay and fodder was used by the pioneers, 
but none of it was carried away. Some of the plows were taken 
on an account which Father Chase held against the government 
for arrears in wages, but a strict report to the government was 
ordered and the things taken were regarded as the property of 
Father Chase. • 

The crossing of Loup Fork was a mile-post on the journey; 
and the 23rd was a day of great anxiety to those who had been 
looking carefully for a suitable fording place from which they 
might drop down again on to the banks of the Platte. 

"In the morning twelve of us started on horseback to search 
out a ford across the dangerous and troublesome Loup Fork of 
the Platte River. We went down the river some distance when 
several men waded across. They found the water so deep, and so 
much quicksand that we came to the conclusion to drive up to the 
old Pawnee village. So we returned to the camp and harnessed 
up our horses. My gray horse named Titus was sick, yet I started 
out with him, and the camp drove up with some difficulty to the old 
Indian village, or a little below it. 

"The men commenced searching out a ford and found the 


whole bed of the river one body of quicksand into which if a 
horse or wagon stopped it would begin to sink. We had two 
channels to cross and a sand-bar in the middle. The deepest water 
was from three to four feet and very rapid and about three hun- 
dred yards across. At some places the quicksand sank both man 
and beast instantly; and the more they struggled to get out, the 
more they would sink. Of course, we avoided such places as much 
as possible. 

"As I led the van with my ten, being captain of the first ten, 
it fell to my lot to make the first trial. Prof. O. Pratt, having a 
pair of strong horses, went forward and I followed him. I had 
two yoke of cattle and my horses on my carriage with about ten 
hundred on it. As soon as I started, I immediately saw that the 
cattle did but little good, being slow and in the way, we would 
begin to sink. I jumped out of my carriage into the water up to 
my waist. About ten men came to my assistance with a rope and 
hitched it to the oxen and helped me in getting across the first 
stream, though with great difficulty. We stopped on a sand-bar 
out in the water, but my horses and wagon began to sink. By 
treading the ground a little, it would become a perfect quagmire, 
and though we were sinking in it, the men had to leave the wagon 
where it was and go to the assistance of Orson Pratt, who, in 
trying to cross the second stream, had sunk into a bed of quick- 
sand, and all the men had to go to his relief to get his horses and 
wagon out. The horses were unhitched from the wagon, and the 
load taken out and carried to shore ; the wagon was drawn out by 
the men. 

"I took off most of my load in a boat and went through the 
second stream. I got two other wagons in the same way, but it 
was so difficult an undertaking that the rest of the camp would 
not follow us, so here we found ourselves on the opposite side 
of the river, six men of us, to spend the night, together with our 
horses and wagons to guard against the whole Pawnee band, who 
were then camped below us on the same side of the river, and it 
was supposed that they numbered six hundred warriors. We di- 
vided our company, putting three on guard at a time. Brother 
Pack, Orson Pratt, and myself went on guard the fore part of the 


night. Although I had been in the water the whole afternoon, I 
stood guard in my wet clothing one-half of the night and slept in 
them the other half. 

"When we had guarded our part of the night we were joined 
by five men from the camp who crossed in a boat. They were 
sent by President Young to assist us, making eleven of us in all, 
and we divided our force accordingly. The night, however, passed 
off in peace, with no disturbance from the hostile Indians. 

"The morning was pleasant and Prof. Pratt took an observa- 
tion on the south bank of the fording place of the Loup Fork. 
The latitude was found to be 41 degrees, 22 minutes, and 37 sec- 
onds. The camp on the other side was now busy devising plans 
to cross the river. They drew together timber and rails to build 
two rafts and began to put them together. Some of the brethren 
made another trial to cross with wagons by putting on several 
horse and mule teams. They went a little higher up than we did 
and got over with much less difficulty. The more the ground 
was trod in the water, the smoother and harder it grew, so the 
whole company turned their wagons back to the ford and aban- 
doned the raft. By unloading one-half of the baggage, they could 
cross in safety ; and they all crossed by doubling teams and by go- 
ing back and forth until all were over. Each captain with his 
ten assisted the others across. In this way all Israel who were 
present went over the Loup Fork of the Platte River in safety 
without hurt to man or beast; and we felt thankful to God for 
His mercies and rejoiced that we were on the south side of the 

"We all loaded up our wagons and drove four miles and 
camped for the Sabbath on the bank of the river; and after our 
wagons were arranged, the Twelve took a walk on the high table 
lands to make observations, through their glasses, of the surround- 
ing country." 



Elijah Newman Healed. — Indians Attempt Theft. — Antelopes Killed. 
Encounter with Indians. — A Buffalo Hunt. — Meet Traders from 
Laramie. — A Decision To Keep the North Bank of the Platte. — 
Immense Herds of Buffaloes. — William Clayton's Mile Gage. — 
Letter Left for Next Company.— Description of the Rodometer. 

The task of crossing Loup River had been accomplished 
safely and there was a general spirit of gratitude throughout the 
camp. The following day was the Sabbath, April 25th. Meeting 
was held and general instructions given respecting the observance 
of the Sabbath. It was on that day that Elijah Newman was bap- 
tized for the restoration of his health. He was afflicted by a black 
scurvy in his legs to such an extent that he could not walk except 
by aid of sticks and crutches. After the ordinance and confirma- 
tion, he returned to the camp without any help. 

A number of hunters were appointed to go ahead of the 
camp in quest of game, seven to be horsemen ; and ten, footmen. 
Here Elder Woodruff saw for the first time in his life either elk 
or antelope. Four of each appeared at different times on the op- 
posite side of the river. Although he was not one of the hunters, 
the members of the Twelve were allowed to join those appointed. 
From later accounts, it will be seen that Elder Woodruff took an 
active part in the chase. From now on till the foothills of the 
Rocky Mountains were reached, a strict guard against the In- 
dians was kept. Of the first early troubles with Indians, Elder 
Woodruff writes : 

"Early in the morning, before the break of day, two Indians 
crept upon their hands and knees, approaching the camp to steal 
horses. They got within three yards of the guard before they 
were discovered. The guard at first thought them to be wolves 
and snapped at them. They rose and ran. Two of the guards 
fired and four others rose out of the grass. The bugle was sound- 
ed and all arose to arms, but no more were seen then. 

"I started out in the morning with the hunters. We saw eight 
deer and four antelopes, but caught nothing. After traveling 


eight miles, we camped for noon. On the opposite side of the 
river were relics of an old Indian town. In the afternoon, we 
traveled seven miles and camped on Clear Creek which had a 
hard gravel bottom, the first of the kind we had found on the 
road. We killed one wild goose, and saw fresh signs of buffalo 
where we camped, the first we had seen. Brothers Young, Kim- 
ball, Richards, and I went on to a high bluff to view the country. 

"Just at dusk, a tremendous alarm was given through the 
camp. The Indians had crawled up and taken Porter Rockwell 
and his horse and made off with them. Many men mounted their 
horses and rode after them with all speed, but it was soon dis- 
covered that Rockwell was in camp. Only two horses were gone. 
They belonged to Dr. Richards and Brother Little. About twenty 
men, mounted and armed, went in search of the horses. 

"On the morrow we continued our journey in a southerly di- 
rection to try to get on the Platte River. We came to some beau- 
tiful green grass, saw a great many buffalo signs, but found no 
wood or water. We baited our horses in a green valley after 
twelve miles' travel. 

"Just as we were starting in the afternoon, we rose to a small 
bluff and saw two antelopes in the valley before us. Brothers 
Young, Kimball, and myself were together. Brother Brown and 
another brother were on the other side of the hill and saw them 
also. Brother Brown first fired at one, and then the other man and 
I fired. We all hit him, but he did not fall, so we rode up and 
cut his throat. This was the first antelope killed. He was dressed 
and put on board the wagon, and we continued on and in a short 
time saw three more looking at us from the top of a mound. 
Brother Brown and I went after them, but could not get them, so 
we turned about ten degrees east of south and went to the creek 
and camped. Our cattle and horses were very dry, not finding 
any water during the day. We had a heavy storm of thunder, 
lightning, wind, and some rain which lasted about an hour. 

"A rifle went off in Brother Brown's wagon by accident and 
the ball went through a bag of clothes, set it on fire, then through 
the wagon, and broke the leg of a fine horse. The result was the 
breaking up of one of the teams of the pioneer company. 

"Brother Rockwell and three others had gone in the morning 


again in search of the horses which the Indians were supposed to 
have stolen. Toward evening they returned and reported that 
they had been attacked by fifteen Indians, who were in ambush 
in the grass. They came upon them, determined to take their 
horses from them, but the brethren kept them off by their rifles 
and pistols. The Indians were armed with guns and bows. When 
they found that they could not scare the brethren, they professed 
friendship to get to them ; but the brethren were resolute and de- 
termined not to move but to fight, though only four to fifteen. The 
Indians finally rushed upon them to catch the horses by the bits. 
The brethren drew their pistols upon them, determined to fight 
and do their best. The Indians, seeing their determination, broke 
and ran, but fired their guns upon the brethren. The balls whis- 
tled around them, but no one was injured. The brethren did not 
return the fire, not wishing to kill any of them if they could 
help it" 

The morning of April 28th the company reached the eastern 
end of Grand Island. There Elder Woodruff accompanied the 
hunters, but a wolf and a goose were all they secured. In the eve- 
ning, they camped on Wood Creek. Great numbers of deer could 
be seen on the island, but President Young thought it dangerous 
to cross over, as the Indians might be in ambush. 

The morning following was very cold. The camp was moved 
at five o'clock ; and after a drive of three miles, a stop was made 
for breakfast. Here the hunters explored Grand Island which 
they found covered by rushes and cottonwood. The grass was 
now in greater abundance. The cattle and horses were greatly in 
need of improved feed; and better grazing meant the entrance 
into the lands of the deer and buffalo. They saw great numbers 
of antelope, but could not reach them. The hunters killed four 
geese. Elder Woodruff killed two of them and shot one deer 
which he could not overtake. 

On May 1st the pioneers were well into the home of the buf- 
falo. It was a great day for the hunters and welcomed by the pio- 
neers who were greatly in need of fresh meat. Those who knew 
President Woodruff's ardent love of the chase will read the ex- 
prience of his first buffalo hunt with some appreciation of what 
that day meant to him. 



"This was an interesting day to the hunters of the camp of 
Israel. The pioneers made an early start, and after traveling six 
miles, camped for breakfast on the prairie in sight of a herd of 
buffaloes feeding on a bluff to the right of us. There were about 
two hundred. Three only of the hunters started out. They rode 
as near to them as possible and crawled along the grass, but the 
buffaloes became frightened and ran away. We had not traveled 
more than two miles farther before we discovered another large 
herd five miles before us. The hunters assembled and held a 
council. We determined to get some of the buffalo meat if pos- 
sible. We traveled, however, with the camp until within a mile 
of the herd when a halt was made and fifteen hunters started to- 
gether. Amasa Lyman and myself of the Twelve were with them. 
We went along together until we reached a bluff within a few 
rods of the herd and then divided, Brother Grover and Luke 
Johnson went on to the bluff, O. P. Rockwell and Brother Brown 
took the entire left, and so we divided into companies on the right, 
left, and center. I was with the company in the center of the herd. 

"We all made a charge upon them from the bluffs and rushed 
on to the plain. The herd ran down the rough bluff into the plain, 
but when we reached the plain we soon overtook them, and each 
company singled out its game. We made choice generally of 
cows, then rushed up to the side of them and fired upon them 
with our pistols, which we found much better to carry than the 
rifles which were very cumbersome in running. The first we gave 
chase to was a cow with her calf. I rode up to her side and fired 
two balls, both of which took effect. The other brethren with me 
also fired at her until she was killed. I then ran my horse to the 
assistance of another party who had wounded one which was soon 

"I then saw that O. P. Rockwell had three bulls at bay on the 
prairie. Brother Pack and myself ran with our horses to his as- 
sistance. At the same time Brother Kimball came up. We sur- 
rounded them and commenced firing. They bolted ahead. I put 
spurs to my horse and ran in front and was within about a rod of 
them when they all pitched at me and gave me a chase for a fight. 
It hurried me to get out of their way. Two broke for the bluff 
and Brother Brown followed them ; but Rockwell, Kimball, Pack, 


and myself stayed with an old bull. I fired two balls into him, 
Kimball one, and Pack one. The bull fell dead. We also shot a 
calf that was with him. I returned to Brother Brown on the 
bluff and found that one of the bulls to which he had given chase 
was wounded and had lain down; but Brother Brown having no 
more powder or ball, the bull got up again and ran into the herd 
on the bluff before I could reach him. We now all returned to 
our hunting ground to gather up the buffaloes we had killed, there 
being three cows, three bulls, and five calves, making eleven in 

"In the morning, Brother Solomon Hancock had gone out to 
hunt buffaloes on foot. As he did not return in the evening, we felt 
greatly concerned about him; but in the morning he returned, 
having killed a three year old cow which he watched during the 
night to keep the wolves from eating her. Three wolves^ came 
upon him. He shot one and the rest ran away. This was our first 
day's buffalo hunt and we considered the results quite good in as 
much as we were all strangers to a buffalo hunt, very few of us 
having ever seen one before. 

"We dressed our meat and the wagons came from the camp 
to take it in. A part of our chase was through an immense prairie 
dog town nearly ten miles long by two miles wide, with burrows 
at nearly every rod. This was very dangerous for our horses. 
My horse, in fact, ran into one and nearly fell, but no harm was 
done to any of the hunters by the prairie dog holes." 

The next day was the Sabbath, "and all were busy cooking 
and saving their meat." In the afternoon, the camp was moved 
on three miles in order that better feed might be found. While 
the pioneers were in camp, a herd of buffaloes came to the river to 
drink at a place within two miles of the camp. The hunters were 
anxious to give them a chase, but President Young prevailed on 
them not to do so. It was not a work of necessity. Here the In- 
dians impeded the progress of the company by setting fire to 
the prairie, which rapidly burned a large area of country. That 
evening Presidents Young and Kimball went ahead several miles 
to examine the fire and make general observations. 

On Monday, the 3rd of May, the pioneers did not move camp 
on account of the weakened condition of the teams. A company 


of twenty hunters were called to go in quest of game. "We 
started out with two wagons. I had taken a severe cold which 
had settled in my side where my bones had been broken last fall, 
and it made me sick and I was not fit for the hunt, yet I started 
with the hunters. I had shaken myself up badly the Saturday be- 
fore and was now feeling the effects of it." 

At the same time another party were out to explore the coun- 
try ahead of them, as the Indians had been burning the grass for 
several days. After traveling about ten miles to and fro, and see- 
ing no game, Elders Woodruff and Lyman began a retreat for 
camp. "We sat down upon the edge of a bluff in sight of the 
camp when a company of horsemen approached, bearing a red 
flag. When they came within a mile of us, we trailed our guns 
and went down to meet them. We were informed that the party 
who had gone up the river had come upon a camp of about four 
hundred Indian warriors, and that about one hundred of them had 
followed the party down a ravine to cut off retreat. These horse- 
men had gone out to call in the hunters. On their return the horse- 
men came on to a herd of buffaloes. They brought in with them 
three calves and four antelopes. 

"During the night a strong guard was kept and early in the 
morning the cannon was fired twice to let the Indians know the 
company was awake. To provide against surprises, the wagons 
were driven five abreast. After traveling about five miles, some 
wagons were seen on the opposite side of the river, going down 
the Platte. One of their men waded the river to find out who 
the pioneers were and to learn what he could of their movements. 
They were traders from Fort Laramie, and had been on the way 
sixteen days from that place. 

"The grass, he informed us, was good on the south side of 
the river, but burned on the north side by the Indians. He con- 
sented to carry letters for us to Sarpee who lived near Winter 
Quarters. Here the pioneers stopped long enough to write fifty- 
two letters. An epistle was written to the Church at Winter 
Quarters ; and three of the brethren accompanied the Frenchman 
across the Platte, where they met the other men of his company, 
nine in all. They informed the brethren that they had not seen 
an Indian since they left Laramie where there was a ferry. 


"We drove on three miles and let our teams graze until the 
brethren returned from the French traders. They made a report 
to the camp of what was said to them. A council of the whole 
company of the pioneers was then called to determine whether we" 
should cross the Platte, or continue along the north side of the 
river. We were convinced that it would be better for us to cross 
the river on to the old traveled road to Laramie as there was good 
grass on that side, while the Indians were burning it off on the 
north side where we were traveling. 

"When, however, we took into consideration the fact that other 
companies would soon follow and that we were the pioneers, and 
had not our wives and children with us, we thought it best to 
keep on the north banks and face the difficulties of burning prair- 
ies. A road would thus be made which would serve as a perma- 
nent route, independent of the old immigrant trail. There was the 
further consideration that the river would separate us from other 
immigrant companies that might be disposed to quarrel with us 
over grass or water. Besides, by the time the next company came 
along, the grass would be much better than on the south side of the 
river. A vote was called for, and the decision was unanimous 
that we continue along the north banks of the Platte. Col. Mark- 
ham called the men together and drilled them in a military ca- 
pacity. The cannon was unloaded and carried on wheels. 

"The Frenchman informed us that he had never seen so- many 
buffaloes on the route before as there were this season and that 
several times the traders were compelled to stop while the herds 
passed. We saw many deer and antelope today and a few buffaloes. 
At night we camped near a herd a short distance from us. We 
also afterwards learned that the alarm of the 3rd about the four 
hundred Indian warriors was a false one, and that a man had 
been frightened by a herd of antelope. He supposed them in the 
distance to be Indians." 

The decision to keep the north bank of the Platte was justi- 
fied by the needs of the people in the movements of subsequent 
companies, and the general lay of the country. Later, when the 
engineer applied the accuracy of his instrument to the scientific 
methods of road building, the old "Mormon Trail," as it was pop- 
ularly called, was chosen for the Union Pacific Railroad which 


covered that "trail" for hundreds of miles. In the years to follow 
there was a rush to the gold fields of California. The frontiers- 
men of Illinois and Missouri who had given the Saints so much 
trouble were among the gold seekers. It was the part of wisdom to 
have between them and the migrating Saints the Platte River. 

On May 5th a guard was kept in advance to keep the buf- 
faloes from mixing with the cattle. In the afternoon, one cow 
and five calves were killed. A wounded bull calf was brought into 
camp with the intention of keeping it. It was true to its instincts 
and bunted men and dogs about whenever it could reach them. 
The day following, it died. 

"We stopped for the. night, but found the grass on fire and 
had to return a mile, and then camped on the bank of the river 
on a spot which had escaped the flames. Some, however, took their 
horses on to an island near by in the river and cut down cotton- 
woods, from the barks of which they fed." 

On the morning of the 6th, an early start was made ; and the 
camp, after traveling three miles, stopped where the grass was 
better for breakfast. "This morning the herds of buffaloes were 
numerous on both sides of the river and the antelope were in great 
abundance, some of which ran into camp. A young buffalo calf 
also came in and followed us. We gave it some milk and left it. 
"As we continued our journey, we saw many herds of buf- 
faloes and antelopes and one large herd of elk. Two antelopes 
were killed in the morning. As there was much meat in the 
camp already, it was thought best not to kill any more game than 
we needed. Dr. Richards, George A. Smith, and myself walked 
up quite near several herds of buffaloes and examined them 
through our glasses. They were shedding their coats. One bull had 
a mass of hair swinging by his side like a loose robe. Our herd 
of cows started to run among the buffaloes, but President Young 
galloped his horse to separate them and had great difficulty in do- 
ing so. He lost a glass worth forty dollars in the chase. We 
continued our journey among herds of buffaloes and were not at 
any time out of sight of them. They had eaten the grass to such 
an extent that there was little remaining for the cattle, and tim- 
ber was also scarce. At night we camped near a herd of buffaloes 


that reached as far as the eye could see. This day the camp made 
twenty miles." 

The day following was given in part for rest for the cattle 
and horses. The meagre supply of grass made it necessary to lay 
over where there was any supply of feed. A part of the day was 
devoted to military tactics. Such drills had a double purpose. 
They prepared the men for discipline in case it became necessary 
to defend themselves against the Indians, and it further occupied 
their minds and consumed energy that might otherwise have made 
them restless, and dissatisfied. Porter Rockwell and those 
who went back with him in search of the field-glass, lost the day 
before by President Young, were successful. Others went ahead 
to mark out a road. Ever since the pioneers had left the crossing 
at Loup Fork, they were obliged to pioneer their way. Had they 
chosen to take the other side of the river, they would have found 
a road already made for them. 

"We saw today ten thousand buffaloes, and came near one 
herd with an unusual number of calves, yearlings, and two-year 
olds. We also saw several large dead ones being devoured by 
wolves which could be seen on every hand following the herds to 
eat those that died by wounds and from other causes. 

"The next morning, May 8th, was very pleasant and not so 
cold and windy as the day before. A start was not made until 
10 o'clock as the teams needed rest and feed badly. I rode for- 
ward to-day with the Twelve and others, and the buffaloes that 
our eyes beheld were most astonishing. Thousands upon thou- 
sands would crowd together as they came from the bluffs to the 
bottom-land to go to the river and sloughs to drink, until the 
river and land on both sides of it looked as though the face of 
the earth was alive and moving like the waves of the sea. Brother 
Kimball remarked that he had heard many buffalo tales told, but 
never expected to behold what his eyes now saw. The half had not 
been told him. 

"When we stopped at noon, many of the buffaloes walked along 
side of our wagons so that it would have been easy to shoot them 
down. O. P. Rockwell did shoot one through the neck and she 
dropped dead. It was a two year old heifer and good meat.' We 


had great difficulty in keeping our cattle and horses from getting 
among the herds ; and if they had got mixed, it would have been 
almost impossible ever to get them again. 

"We traveled eleven and one-fourth miles this day until we 
came to the bluffs that made down to the river and then we 
camped for the night. Brother William Clayton had prepared 
a mile-gage on the hind wheel of his wagon so that the distance 
could be measured easily. 

"Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, George A. Smith, and 
myself went on the highest bluff near by and took a survey of the 
surrounding country without glasses, and the scene before us, 
north, east, and west as far as our vision extended, looked as 
rough as the sea in a storm with the ridges and valley mostly sand 
and scarcely any green thing upon it except a little scattering grass, 
and the Spanish soap root, which the Mexicans used for washing. 
The top resembles a pineapple. I brought in one root twenty- 
four inches long and two inches in diameter. I pounded a little 
of it and found that it would fill a dish with suds like soap." 

The bones of buffaloes had been more or less abundant since 
the company left Loup Fork. This probaby indicated the east- 
ern limit of the buffalo range. Among their bones there were fre- 
quently found skulls of human beings, probably Indians. 

On Sunday the 9th the camp moved four miles and laid over 
for the day. Timber grew scarcer and the pioneers learned the 
value of the buffalo chip for making fires. At this season of the 
year, the cottonwood trees became green and were not fit for fires. 
"I wrote two letters for Brother Wolsen to take with him 
to Pueblo. One was to Brother Ferguson and the other to 
Brother Bevin. We had a meeting and a good one. The spirit of 
God ruled over the camp. Peace, quiet, and contentment per- 
vaded almost every heart. The Twelve met and it was thought 
best for the brethren not to start for Pueblo until they arrived at 
Laramie. I rode with the Twelve and others four miles up the 
river and saw large herds of buffaloes come to water." 

The tenth was cold, the themometer standing at 33 degrees, 
with a moderate wind. Before leaving camp, a letter was put in a 
board by sawing an opening the width of the saw. It was nailed 


to a post which was planted firmly in the earth. The letter was 
for the next company which was expected along in six or eight 
weeks. On the board were the words : "Open this box and you 
will find a letter; 316 miles from Winter Quarters; Pioneers; 
Latitude 40 degrees. " The letter contained an account of the 

The grass was so completely eaten off" that the cattle were 
very poor and unfit for long journeys. The movement of the 
buffaloes was eastward and they ate everything before them. 
It did not require many days, however, at this season of the year 
for the grass to make a considerable growth. "We passed through 
some miles of dead grass which we burned to give new feed for 
the next company. It made a great fire indeed." 

Here in the midst of the journey, more than 300 miles from 
the Missouri River, with scant material, and few mechanical ap- 
pliances, the ingenious nature of man asserted itself to meet a 
daily desire to know just how far the pioneers were traveling 
each day. William Clayton writes under date of May 8, 1847: 

"I have counted the revolutions of a wagon wheel in order to 
get the exact distance we have traveled. The reason why I have 
taken this method which is somewhat tedious, is because there is 
generally a difference of two, and sometimes four, miles in a 
day's travel between my estimation and that of some others, and 
they have all thought I underrated it. This morning I deter- 
mined to take pains in order to know for a certainty how far 
we would travel today. Accordingly I measured the circumfer- 
ence of one of the hind wheels of Brother Kimball's wagon, being 
the one I sleep in, in charge of Philo Johnson. I found the 
wheel exactly fourteen feet eight inches in circumference, not 
varying one eighth of an inch. I then calculated how many revo- 
lutions it would require for one mile and found it precisely 360, 
not varying one fraction, which somewhat astonished me. I have 
counted all the revolutions during the day's travel and find it to 
be a little over 11J miles. According to my previous calcula- 
tions we were 285 miles from Winter Quarters this morning be- 
fore we started, and after traveling ten miles I placed a small 
cedar post in the ground with these words inscribed on it with a 
pencil. 'From Winter Quarters 295 miles, May 8, 1847. Camp 


all well. Wm. Clayton.' Some have estimated the day's journey 
at 13 and some 14 miles, which serves to convince more strongly 
that the distances are overrated. I have repeatedly suggested a 
plan of fixing machinery to a wagon wheel to tell the exact dis- 
tance we travel, and many begin to be sanguine for carrying it 
into effect." 

This tedious effort led to a mechanical contrivance which was 
later put into effect. Considering the circumstances of the pioneers, 
it was not a little extraordinary that such a rodometer should 
be constructed at such a time and under such circumstances. 
Here is a description of it: "Let a wagon wheel be of such 
a circmuference, that 360 revolutions make one mile. (It hap- 
pens that one of the requisite dimensions is now in camp.) Let 
this wheel act upon a screw in such a manner that six revolu- 
tions of the wagon wheel shall give the screw one revolution. 
Let the threads of this screw act upon a wheel of sixty cogs, 
which will evidently perform one revolution per mile. Let this 
wheel of sixty cogs, be the head of another screw, acting upon 
another wheel of thirty cogs ; it is evident that in the movements 
of this second wheel, each cog will represent one mile. Now, if 
the cogs were numbered from to 30, the number of miles trav- 
eled will be indicated during every part of the day. Let every 
sixth cog of the first wheel be numbered from to 10, and this 
division will indicate the fractional parts of a mile, or tenths; 
while if any one should be desirous to ascertain still smaller 
divisional fractions, each cog between this division, will give five 
and one-third rods. This machinery (which may be called the dou- 
ble endless screw) will be simple in construction, and of very small 
bulk, requiring scarcely any sensible additional power, and the 
knowledge obtained respecting distances in traveling will cer- 
tainly be very satisfactory to every traveler, especially in a country 
but little known. The weight of this machinery need not exceed 
three pounds." 



In the Redman's Country. — Indian Customs. — Hunting Became Ex- 
cessive. — Description of the Bluffs. — Guide Board 409 Miles From 
Winter Quarters. — Chimney Rock. — Brigham Young Rebukes Card 
Playing and Frivolity. — Fasting and Prayer. — Arrive at Fort Lar- 
amie. — Ascending the Plateaux. — Word From the Mormon Bat- 

About the 11th of May, the pioneers found themselves in 
the heart of the Indians' country. The red man would naturally 
take some alarm at the approach of so numerous a body of men, 
and his presence along the route was indicated, as a rule, by the 
camping ground which had been deserted at the approach of the 
white man. Here and there solitary Indians were observed, and 
occasionally a small number approached the camp. The Sioux 
were a somewhat treacherous, warlike tribe ; and following the 
habits of the Indian, some of their tribe would follow the pioneers 
for days, remaining concealed in daylight, hoping for opportun- 
ities to steal horses and cattle by night. Fortunately the pioneers 
adopted the most precautionary methods of guarding against the 
loss of their horses and cattle* 

The Indians were not without some knowledge of the retreat 
of their ancestors before the western movement which was going 
on rapidly in those days. Their viewpoint therefore justifies both 
the fear and the dislike of the white man. The pioneers, realiz- 
ing the attitude of the Indian, did all in their power to assure him 
of their friendship, but it was not easy on a journey such as that 
to cultivate any particular acquaintance. Elder Woodruff's journ- 
al shows the remarkable interest that he took in whatever related 
to the customs and manners of the Indians. 

Speaking of the Sioux, he says : "We found ourselves trav- 
eling over their hunting grounds. Some eight or ten days prior 
to our encampment on the 11th of May, there had been a large 
band of some 500 to 1,000 located at one place. They had taken 
the brains out of a large buffalo. Generally they took the hide 
and some of the meat, and sometimes they broke the bones for the 


marrow. In one place we found a hundred calves with nothing 
taken except the tongues, the legs to the knees, and the entrails. 
In another place thirty-five buffalo calves were found dead where 
they had been washed up in heaps in their unsuccessful effort to 
cross the river. On one of the bluffs, I found a medicine bag 
tied to a stick six feet long, the stick having been stuck into the 
bank. I also found a saddle tied to a large buffalo for the purpose, 
I supposed, of showing the. next party of Indians which direction 
the buffaloes had gone. 

"Wishing to explore the country somewhat, I left my horse 
to feed in the valley while I went on to an elevated bluff. While 
gone, the horse started off, and not seeing the camp, took an op- 
posite direction and I was compelled to run after him. In doing 
this, I ran through a great camping ground of the Sioux where 
lodges had been on their hunting expeditions. Here I left my 
gun and followed my horse until I overtook him. On my return 
I examined the ground more minutely and estimated that there 
had been something like 500 lodges. There were acres of ground 
covered with buffalo wool where they had dressed the'skins of buf- 
faloes and wolves, etc. I brought in a good dressed white wolf 
skin with me. The day following, many of the brethren went out 
and brought in parts of robes, leather, etc., which had been left. 
The next day, the pioneers made a journey of eleven miles. The 
bluffs, for the first time on the journey along the north fork, 
came boldly up to the river front so that we were obliged to go 
over these bluffs with our wagons. 

"There is one thing concerning the Platte River worthy of 
note. It is much of the way a mile 'in width, generally covered 
with water, but very shallow. When the south wind blows hard, 
the water all rushes to the north shore so that one would suppose 
that there was a great rise in the tide. When the wind shifts to 
the north, the water immediately recedes from the north shore 
until one can walk across two-thirds of the river on bare ground. 
Thus the river constantly ebbs and flows like a tide. 

"Early on the morning of the 14th, I went out to hunt 
buffaloes and returned to breakfast and started out again with 
Phineas Young. I was lost among the bluffs, but after a time, 
found my way out again. Brother Phineas shot a buck antelope 
which I carried into camp. All told, three antelopes anc one 


buffalo were killed. Some of the hunters thought they heard 
Indian guns during the night on the opposite side of the river. 
An Indian had gone up to a pair of mules that were tied together 
and grabbed at them, but the mules sprang back and got out of the 
way. One of the guards shot at him and he ran. All the horses 
were then brought into the circle of our camp and the cannon 
prepared, but no Indian being seen, it was not fired." 

Such a large company would naturally be conspicuous to the 
Indians, and no doubt the sound of music in those solitary regions 
attracted them, as the camp was often animated in the evening 
by the sounds of music from all parts. On the morning of the 
15th, bear foot tracks were seen in large numbers. That day 
the distance covered was only eight miles. This short distance 
was due in part to the difficulty encountered in crossing over the 
numerous bluffs along the river. In those regions there was 
nothing to break the cold, raw winds that came from the north. 
Civilization had not then set up its wind breaks, and the winds 
made the climate often quite disagreeable away into the month of 

"Sunday, the 16th of May," he says, "was cold. With 
Brothers Young, Kimball, Benson, Rockwell, and Stephens, I 
rode four miles over the bluffs to pick out a road for the pioneers 
that they might again get on to the bottom land. We had a good 
meeting in the aftenoon and the laws of the camp were read. One 
of the brethren had shot an antelope and a buffalo. It was a vio- 
lation of the camp to go hunting on the Sabbath. The 17th was 
warm and pleasant, but the road was difficult. For two and a 
half miles we drove through sand bluffs and again struck the 
bottom land four and a half miles from the camping place. The 
hunters brought in three buffaloes which detained the camp for 
some time. President Young was not pleased with the excessive 
hunting, as they already had much meat in the camp. Large 
herds of deer were seen in the valley, more than had been seen 
before. A young fawn was picked up and brought into camp. 
I led the company of pioneers mostly through the bluffs in the 
morning before Brothers Young and Kimball came up. Upon 
their arrival, we rode together all day picking out the road. 

"The next day the camp was called together and President 
Young reproved sharply the hunters for killing more game than 


was necessary, for detaining the camp, and because of their in- 
difference in helping to pick out the road. He said there were but 
two men who had manifested any interest in helping to get the pio- 
neers along. Afterward the horsemen went forward to pick out the 
road instead of hunting, and I did not hear a gun fired during 
the day.". 

The spring was well advanced and rain began to take the 
place of wind. Elder Woodruff in his journal entry of May 19th 
says: "We encountered today the worst sandhill on the journey; 
and what made it worse, the rain was pouring down continuously. 
We had more rain today than during the whole journey. I rode 
forward during the day, picking out the road. We made eight 
miles. • 

"Next morning we made seven miles and nooned near Ash 
Creek, on the south side of the river where the Oregon road first 
strikes the north fork of the Platte. Several of the brethren 
went over in the boat, which we were taking along, to examine 
the rocky bluffs, roads, creek, etc. 

"In the afternoon, we traveled eight and three-quarters miles 
and camped for the night. We had a very good road most of 
the day on the bank of the river. There was a good deal of 
rocky bluff on both sides of the river, and some on the south side 
was formed into natural terraces, rotundas, squares, etc., from 
fifty to a hundred feet high and looked like good foundations for 
fortifications and strong-holds. They resemble the works of art 
and look something like the old castles of England and Scotland. 
They were level on the top. There is a beautiful Cedar Island 
in the river a short distance above Ash Creek which is a good 
landmark to show travelers where the Oregon road strikes the 

Near by the nooning place was a cedar tree in the branches 
of which an Indian child was deposited for burial. Along with it 
were utensils necessary for its future enjoyment. 

On the 21st a large petrified bone was found. It was the 
leg bone from the knee down. Its length was seventeen and a 
half inches, greatest width eleven inches, greatest thickness six 
inches, its weight was twenty-seven pounds. 

"Before we left the encampment in the morning, Brother 
Clayton put up a guide board for the benefit of the next company. 


'From Winter Quarters, 409 miles; from the Junction 93^4 miles; 
Cedar Bluff 36y 2 ; Ash Creek 8 miles and 133 from Fort Laramie/ 
When we reached our camping place for the night, two Indians 
came up from the bluffs, making signs for us to come to them. 
It was a Sioux Indian and his squaw. They talked by signs and 
went away. 

"Our road on the journey the day following was very straight, 
but we came over two and a half miles of the worst sand hill that 
we had passed. The bluffs presented the most singular natural 
scenery I had ever beheld in all my travels. They had the appear- 
ance of the old walls and ruins of the castles of Europe. 

"The next day was Sunday the 23rd. In company with 
Brigham Young and the Twelve, I visited the top of the highest 
bluff ruins that were -opposite our encampment, which were truly 
a curiosity. We had a fair view of Chimney Rock from where 
we were. I carried a bleached buffalo's head on the top and we 
wrote upon it our names and the distance from several places. 
Orson Pratt took a barometrical observation on the solitary cedar 
tree on the top of the bluff ruins. 

"The camp met at half past eleven in the morning for Sab- 
bath services. Erastus Snow addressed the meeting, followed 
by President Young who said he was satisfied that the Lord was 
with us and leading us. He had never seen a company of people 
more united than the camp had been thus far on the journey, 
that we should pluck the fruit of the mission through all eternity, 
that he had many things to teach us but could not do it except in a 
stake of Zion, but he was well satisfied with his brethren and the 
Twelve, and the camp at large. One thing he would say to the 
praise of the company and that was that not one had refused to 
obey his counsel on the journey. His peace with God was con- 
tinually like a river, and he felt that the spirit of peace rested 
upon the whole company. Several others spoke and the meeting 
was then dismissed. 

"We intended to ride out in the evening, but saw that a storm 
was gathering. It began to blow very hard and it was all we could 
do to save our wagon bows and covers from being destroyed. 
It continued for about an hour and then rained for another hour 
accompanied by hail. I covered all my horses with all the blankets 
I could get, and got up several times in the night to see them. It 


rained occasionally and the horses shook with cold, but when morn- 
ing came all were alive and we continued our journey. 

"As soon as we camped at noon, two Indians came to the 
camp. They were Sioux and well dressed and clean. We gave 
them dinner and they left. We camped at night near the Quick- 
sand Mountain, making sixteen and one half miles that day. 
I rode about two miles forward to find grass and a camping 
ground, and on my return saw about thirty Sioux plunge their 
horses into the river on the opposite side and made towards us. 
I rode with several others to the river and met them as they 
came out. They shook hands with us very friendly The chief 
unfurled a large American flag with the eagle, stars, and stripes 
and presented me a letter written in French which we, however, 
made out. They were all well dressed and the chief was in a mili- 
tary coat. The brethren brought a white flag and planted it by 
the side of theirs. They wanted to go into camp. We proposed 
for five of them to go and the rest to remain, but they all wished to 
go, so we let them and gave them supper. They were in camp all 
night, but were good and stole nothing. 

"Some trading was done with the Sioux next morning and we 
gave them breakfast. They behaved well also when we start- 
ed across the river. I had to keep my carriage today having 
the rheumatism in my shoulders and back, and my teeth ached. 

"We nooned next day, Tuesday, May 25th, in good grass 
two miles above Chimney Rock; and I rode with Brothers Kim- 
ball and Benson to look out a road. By our imperfect measure- 
ment by a trigonometrical observation by the sextant, Professor 
Pratt made Chimney Rock to be two hundred and sixty feet above 
the level of the river. 

"Just before camping at noon while traveling on a smooth 
prairie, an Indian horse that was bought of the Sioux ran away 
with a singletree at his heels and gave tremendous fright to the 
cows, oxen and horses. In an instant a dozen or more wagons 
were darting by each other like lightning and the horses and mules 
dashing over the ground, some turning to the right and some to 
the left and some ran into other wagons. The horses and mules 
that Brother Fowler was driving leaped by my carriage like 
electricity and came within one inch of a collision with my wheels 
which would have made a wreck. Another wagon with a pair 


c muies and a yoke of cattle dashed by which would also have 
smashed my carriage had they locked. By this time, my own 
horses started to run, but were held back by the driver. Fowler's 
wagon continued regardless of rough or smooth ground about 
fifty rods, he being dragged the whole distance by the bit which 
was the case with many others ; but all were soon stopped and re- 
turned to their lines without accident which appeared truly a 
miracle. A person can hardly conceive the power manifested 
by animals, especially mules, in such a fright. It gave us some 
idea of what an Indian yell would do in a camp with teams 
hitched to wagons. 

"Brother Kimball and myself picked the road during our 
journey of the following morning, and in the afternoon I piloted 
as straight as any road yet made on the whole route, and picked 
out a camping ground on the bank of tht river in good feed. It 
should be understood that we were pioneering a road for the 
whole House of Israel to travel over for many years to come 
and it required, therefore, the greatest care in marking the route. 
U A cold rainy morning followed and we concluded not to 
start until the rain stopped. We remained till 10 o'clock and 
traveled eleven and one-half miles and camped for the night. Dur- 
ing the evening, President Young called at my fire, and seeing 
several brethren playing dominoes in a wagon near by, he began 
to teach, saying that the devil was getting power over the camp 
which had for several days given way to cards and dominoes, etc., 
and that if they did not speedily repent, their works, labors, and 
journey would be in vain. He said that to be sure the camp did 
not quarrel, for the devil would not set them at that as long as 
he could draw them gradually away from their duty and fill them 
with nonsense and folly, for the devil was very cunning in winning 
away the people of God. I felt the force of his remarks. 

"During the evening I went into Dr. Richards' wagon an J 
read a chapter in the Book of Mormon and prayed with him, 
after which President Young, H. C. Kimball, Willard Richards, 
E. T. Benson, and myself met in council in Brother Brigham's 
wagon. President Young wrote some of the words of the Lord 
concerning the camp and expressed his views and feelings — that 
they must speedily repent or they would be cursed, that they 
were forgetting their mission, and that he would rather travel 



with ten righteous men who would keep the commandments of 
the Lord than the whole camp while in a careless manner and for- 
getting God. We stayed together until ten o'clock. 

"Next morning President Young called the camp together and 
required each captain separately to call out his men and when all 
were present, except two who had gone out hunting, he addressed 
them in something like the following words: 

'I think I will take as my text to preach my sermon from, 
/ am about to revolt from traveling with this camp arty further 
with the spirit they now possess. I had rather risk myself among 
the savages with ten men who are men of faith, men of mighty 
prayer, men of God, than to be with the whole camp when they 
forget the Lord and turn their hearts to folly and wickedness. 
Yes, I would rather be alone and I am now resolved not to go 
any farther with the camp unless you will consent to humble your- 
selves before the Lord and serve Him and cease your folly and 
wickedness. For a week past, nearly the whole camp has been 
card playing, and checkers and dominoes have occupied the at- 
tention of the brethren, and dancing has been going on con- 

'Now it is time to quit it. There have been trials and law- 
suits upon every nonsensical thing; and if this is suffered to go 
on, it will be but a short time before you are fighting, knocking 
each other down and taking life. It is time it was stopped. 

'I do not want to hear any more such reports as I heard 
last Sunday of men going to meeting and preaching to the rest 
after playing cards until meeting time. You are a pretty set of 
men going to look out a location among the mountains for a 
resting place for the Saints — even the whole Church of God — 
who have been driven out from the Gentiles and rejected of them. 
And after you have established a location, you are then going out 
to preach the Gospel, seal salvation upon the house of Israel, 
and gather the nations. 

'How would you look if they should know your conduct 
and ask you what you did when you went to seek out Zion and 
find a resting place for the Saints where the standard of the 
Kingdom of God could be reared and her banners unfurled for 
the nations to gather unto? 

'Did you spend a good deal of your time in dancing, pitch- 


ing quoits, jumping, wrestling, and the like? Yes, yes. Did 
you play cards, dice, ' checkers, and dominoes? O, yes. What 
could you do with yourselves? Why you would shrink from the 
glance of the eyes of God, angels and men— even wicked men. 
Then are you not ashamed of yourselves for practicing these 
things? Yes, you are, and you must quit it/ 

"After speaking somewhat lengthily upon these matters, 
President Young called the Twelve together, and the high priests, 
seventies, and elders. There were present eight of the quorum of 
the Twelve, eighteen high priests, eighty seventies, and eight 
elders. After this was done, President Young said unto the 
Twelve : 

'If you are willing to humble yourselves before the Lord 
and consent to the right, and walk humbly before Him, make it 
manifest by raising the right hand/ 

"Then each one raised his hand. The same question was put 
to the high priests, seventies, elders, and members and all con- 
sented with uplifted hands to humble themselves before the Lord, 
repent of their sins and keep His commandments. 

"President Young then sopke of those who were not in the 
Church, as there were some present. They would be protected 
in their rights, but they must not introduce wickedness into the 
camp, for it would not be suffered. He also spoke of the standard 
and ensign that would be reared in Zion. 

"Elder Kimball followed and said that the words of Presi 
dent Young were as the words of the Lord unto him and just as 
binding as though they were a written revelation, and that they 
were just as binding upon the whole camp as they were upon 
him, and he urged the pioneers to give heed to the teachings that 
had been given. 

"Orson Pratt remarked that if the Saints had leisure hours, 
they could spend them to much better advantage than playing 
cards, as there was a world of knowledge and science to be ob- 
tained and every moment should be improved in storing the mind 
with some good principle. He acknowledged the teachings we 
had received to be of the Lord." 

Elder Woodruff said : "A burned child dreads the fire. He 
had not forgotten his journey in the Camp of Zion in 1834; and 
should he live to the age of Methuselah, he should not forget the 


hour when the Prophet and Seer, Joseph Smith, stood upon the 
wagon wheel and addressed that Camp and said that because they 
had not hearkened unto his counsel, but disobeyed and transgressed 
from time to time, judgment would come and that we should be 
visited by the destroying angel. And so we were, and more than 
twenty of our members fell by the stroke and we all suffered much 
in our feelings. I pray the Lord I may not see another such 
time ; and I would now advise my brethren to be careful in keep- 
ing the covenant we have made lest the word of the Lord come 
unto us as in the days of Joseph and we cannot escape a judg- 
ment. I would advise all the brethren who have cards and- the 
like to burn them, for if you keep the covenants you have made, 
you will have no time to use them; and if you keep them for yo'ir 
children, they will only prove a curse to them. My prayer to God 
is that we may all be enabled to keep our covenants with the Lord 
and each other. I rejoice that the watchmen in our midst are 
quick to comprehend and warn of evil and reprove us when wrong 
that we may be saved and do the will of God." 

The change in the camp it would appear was quite as sud- 
den as a gust of wind. It was only a short time before this that 
the pioneers were commended for their zeal and unity. The 
dangers of self-satisfaction were here demonstrated. Dancing, 
card playing, and a hilarious life were not in consonance with the 
solemn mission of that band of pioneers whose journey was to 
be likened in years to come to the exodus of the children of Israel. 
That journey was to be an inspiration to generations that would 
follow. The Sabbath following, May 30th, was set apart for 
prayer and fasting. 

"In the morning I shaved, cleansed my body, put on clean 
clothing, etc., read a chapter in the Book of Mormon, humbled 
myself before the Lord, and poured out my soul in prayer before 
Him, and His spirit descended upon me and I was blessed and 
prepared for the service of the day. Then I spent some time 
in writing in my journal. 

"The camp had a prayer meeting in the morning and met 
again for public meeting. President Young, with the Quorum of 
the Twelve and a few others went into a valley of the hills an-i 
prayed according to the order of the priesthood. Porter Rockwell 
and Brother Carrington watched to see that no Indians came 


upon us. We had a good time. A heavy shower appeared, but 
most of it went around us and there was but little rain where we 

"We returned to our wagons, took some refreshments, hav- 
ing eaten nothing all day; and soon the sun came out pleasantly. 
In the evening I went out two miles with the Quorum of the 
Twelve on to a high bluff. We had a good view of the Black 
Hills. There we also engaged in prayer. 

"Two days afterward we camped opposite Fort Laramie. 
This was June 1st. When we arrived, we saw some men ap- 
proaching us from the Fort. We found them to be a part of 
the company of Mississippi brethren who had been in Pueblo 
through the winter. Brother Crow and his family, seven wagons 
and fourteen mules were at Fort Laramie. He informed us that 
the remainder of the Missippi company with a portion of the 
Mormon Battalion at Pueblo would start for Laramie about the 
1st of June and follow our trail. He told us of four of the 
brethren who had died, but he had heard nothing of the main 
body of the Battalion. 

"President Young suggested the propriety of our leaving all 
our ploughs at the Fort except such as we needed to use im- 
mediately when we got to our destination, and also to do our 
blacksmithing, mending of wagons as soon as possible so that 
we might go on our journey speedily. A company was appointed 
to attend to the herding and other branches of business. 

"June the 2nd, in company with the Twelve and others, I 
crossed the river to visit the Fort. We examined Fort St. John 
which was now vacant, but was still standing. The dimensions 
of this Fort were 144 by 152 outside, and inside contained six- 
teen rooms. The largest on the north side was 93 feet long and 
47 feet wide. The Oregon trail ran one rod from the S. W. corner 
of the Fort. 

"We next visited Fort Laramie, then occupied by thirty-nine 
persons, mostly French who had married the Sioux. Mr. Burdoe 
was the superintendent. This Fort was 168 by 116 feet outside 
with six rooms inside. It was quite a pleasant location for a 

"Mr. Burdoe was a Frenchman. He received us kindly and 
invited us into a large sitting room. He gave us all the informa- 


tion he could in relation to our route and furnished us with his 
flat bottom boat on reasonable terms to assist us in ferrying the 
Platte. He informed us that Governor Boggs and his men had 
much to say against the Mormons and cautioned him to take care 
of his horses and cattle, etc., lest they should steal them. He tried 
to prejudice him all he could against us. Burdoe said that Boggs' 
company were quarreling all the time, and most of them had 
deserted him. He finally told Boggs and company that let the 
Mormons be what they might, they could not be worse than he 
and his men. 

"After conversing with Mr. Burdoe some time we got into 
the flat bottom boat, about twenty of us, and went down the 
Laramie Fork to its mouth about two miles and then up the 
Platte one-half mile to our camp. After dinner we met in coun- 
cil and decided that Amasa Lyman should go to Pueblo with 
several other brethren to meet the detachment of the Battalion 
that was there, and for them to come as soon as convenient to 
Laramie and follow our trail." 

The pioneer company now found it necessary to cross the 
north fork of the Platte, just opposite Fort Laramie, the first 
permanent post erected in Wyoming. The low even country of 
Nebraska had been passed, and hereafter the company began its 
journey in Wyoming. They now found themselves ascending the 
great eastern plateau of the Rocky Mountain system. Thence 
forward there began a gradual ascent to the Rocky Mountains 
in which they hoped to find a safe reatreat. The Fort was a trad- 
ing post in the center of Indian commerce, and had been estab- 
lished as early as 1834. The Fort, however, was located on the 
Laramie Fork. 

Some time was taken in exploring the region as it was to be 
in the future an important mile post in the journey of the Saints. 
The name of the river and the fort was taken from a French 
trapper whose name was Laramie, and who was killed by the In- 
dians on the stream which now bears his name. The Saints pre- 
sented a busy scene repairing wagons and making preparations 
for the ascent of the Rocky Mountains. They had kept well to 
the north, but the route had been established by trappers and ex- 
plorers. The river afforded a water supply for their animals as 
well as for domestic purposes. At this time there were practi- 


cally only two routes across the continent, one to southern Cali- 
fornia by way of Pueblo, the other along the present route of the 
Union Pacific railroad. As Oregon was a great objective point in 
those days, emigrants turned to the northwest before reaching 

"We continued our journey on the 4th of June. The 
scenery grew more interesting as we began to ascend the Black 
Hills. Brother Robert Crow had joined us which added to our 
company nine men, five women, and three children, six wagons, 
thirteen yoke of oxen, twenty cows, three bulls, ten young cattle 
and horses which made our camp now one hundred and forty- 
eight men, eight women, five children, seventy-nine wagons, nine- 
ty-six horses, fifty-one mules, ninety oxen, forty-three cows, three 
bulls, nine calves, sixteen dogs, and sixteen chickens. 

"As we traveled farther into the hills, they grew lofty and 
we began to come into an elk, bear, and mountain-sheep country. 
Soon after we arrived at the Springs, fifteen miles from Laramie, 
the first company of Missouri emigrants came up, twelve wagons 
of them. We journeyed ten and one-half miles farther in the 
after-noon. The Missouri company camped one-fourth mile below 

"Next day was Sunday, the 6th, which we devoted to prayer 
and fasting, but the Missouri company of emigrants started on 
in the morning. The camp met for prayer-meeting at 8 o'clock 
and the spirit of the Lord was with the people who met again for 
preaching at 11 o'clock. We had a shower of rain and the meet- 
ing closed. Another company of Missouri wagons, twenty in num- 
ber, passed us. The rain soon cleared off, and our company moved 
f oi ward five miles and camped for the night on Bitter Creek. 

"The two Missouri companies which had camped near us 
at night started before us in the morning, and while nooning, 
another company of thirteen wagons passed us. We were in a fair 
view of Laramie Peak with its snow covered top. We camped 
for the night on the Horse Shoe Creek in the best feed we had 
found on our journey. The hunters brought in two black-tailed 
deer and one antelope. 

"Next day we formed a company of men and went forward 
with our teams and cleared the road of stone. We used pick-axes, 
bars, spades, etc., and it was a great help to our weak wagons. 


In the afternoon we traveled eight and three quarters miles over 
the most mountainous road on our way and then descended into 
the valley and camped for the night on Labent Creek where there 
was an abundance of timber, water, and good grass. 

"Brother John Higbee went forward hunting, and saw the 
Missouri companies of emigrants, and when they started out they 
had much strife one with another in trying to start first. They 
did not stop to milk their cows ; and in clearing up their break- 
fast, they strewed their meal, salt, bacon, short cake, beans, and 
other things upon the ground throughout their encampment; and 
when we came up, three wolves were feeding upon the frag- 

"In coming over the hills to-day, we found it so cold it 
pierced us like winter. On reaching the valley, we found fires 
the companies in advance had built and we piled on the wood 
and soon got warm. An antelope lay before us which the hunt- 
ers had brought in. We carved it up with our knives, forked it 
on sticks, roasted it, and satisfied ourselves without the season- 
ing of salt. 

. "We started in the morning at 5 o'clock into better feed a 
mile farther on and we turned out our teams. The brethren 
did some trading with the hunters who camped near us. At 7 
o'clock, fifteen of our wagons were formed into a company to go 
forward to make a boat to ferry the Platte. They went forward 
and we followed them. The traders started at the same time. 

"Soon another party of traders who were direct from Sante Fe 
overtook us. They informed us that the Mormon Battalion was 
in California, that they went in January, and that Capt. Brown 
was in Sante Fe for money for the detachment and would come 
on to us as soon as possible. 

"In the afternoon of the next day, President Young and 
Brother Kimball rode with us. Our detached company had not 
been heard of since last night when they camped with the fore- 
most company. We camped to-night, June 9th, at Deer Creek. 
We had good feed and our horses and cattle were gaining daily." 



Ferrying the Missourians over the River. — Construction of Rafts — Ob- 
taining Provisions. — Ten Men Left at the Ferry. — Independence Rock. 
Devil's Gate. — 175 Miles from Fort Laramie. — South Pass. — Meet Ma- 
jor Harris, and Mr. Bridger. — Cross Green River. — Meet Samuel Bran- 
non. — Independence Day. — Meet a Detachment of the Battalion. — Fort 
Bridger. — Report of the Missouri Company That Perished. — Reach Salt 
Lake Valley, July 24, 1847. 

"On June 10th, I examined a splendid grinding stone quarry 
on the east side of the road as it leaves the hills and strikes the 
Platte, and Brother Carrington found a very excellent coal bed on 
Deer Creek. The specimens produced were good. 

"At the blowing of the horn at night, I did not feel much like 
retiring to bed, so walked half a mile from the camp on the bank 
of Deer Creek and found Brother William Clayton fishing with a 
hook. He had caught two dozen good fish. They resembled the 
eastern herring. Another brother had also caught some. As 
they were leaving they left their lines for me. 

"I sat down for half an hour musing alone as unconcerned as 
though I had been on the banks of Farmington River in my na- 
tive place, when suddenly I heard a rustling in the bushes near me, 
and for the first time the thought flashed across me that I was in 
a country abounding with the grizzly bear, wolves, and Indians, 
and was liable to an attack at any moment from any one of them. 
I was away from my company and had no weapon to defend 
myself, even against a badger. I thought it wisdom to return to 
camp, and picking up my fishing rods, I walked leisurely home and 
retired to rest. 

"Next day we rode our horses into the river several times 
during our journey to find a fording place, but could not find one. 
Our detached company was reported at the ferry ten miles or so 
*ibove us. Our hunters brought in thirteen antelopes and the 
Missouri company killed three buffaloes. 

"I started on the following morning to go forward in com- 
pany with Brother A. P. Rockwood, who was riding President 


Young's steed, which unexpectedly sprang upon my horse, but in- 
stead of striking him, he took my knee into his jaw and bruised me 
considerably, sinking one tooth to the bone through three thick- 
nesses of clothing and one of them buckskin. 

"George A. Smith and myself then rode on to the ferrying 
t )lace and found our detachment ferrying over the Missouri com- 
pany who paid the brethren $1.50 for each wagon and load, and 
paid in flour at $2.50 per cwt., while flour through this country 
was worth at least $10.00 per cwt. 

"It was very difficult to get over the river. They carried the 
goods over in a boat, but drew the wagons over with ropes by 
hand; and when the current would strike them, they would fre- 
quently roll over several times in the water, and they were likely 
to drown some of the horses. One of the men would have been 
lost had not the brethren picked him up with the boat. On the 
road the Missouri company had a stampede of their teams, turn- 
ing over their wagons, bruising women and children and smashing 
their things. One ran into the river and would probably have 
drowned and lost all, had not a little boy jumped out beside the 
off ox, which gave him a fright and he 'sided off' and ran upon 
a sand bank, dragging the others after him. The boy was knocked 
into the water and hurt, but the scene ended without any loss of 

"Our blacksmiths have been working for the Missouri com- 
pany for which they get flour, money, etc., and our hunters have 
been busily engaged. They had killed five fat buffaloes, one old 
she bear and three cubs and shot at two grizzly bears, but did not 
get them. Those killed were black bears. Our hunters also brought 
into camp eight antelopes. 

"Sunday, the 13th of June, was a very warm day, and the 
camp met for prayer meeting at 9 o'clock, and at 10 we had a 
regular meeting. President Kimball first addressed the meeting 
and was followed by President Young, who remarked upon the 
great difference between us as a camp and the Missouri companies 
who were traveling the same road. He said, They curse, swear, 
rip, and tear, and are trying to swallow up the earth ; but though 
they do not wish us to have a place on it, the earth will soon open 
and swallow them up and they will go to the land of forgetfulness ; 


while the Saints, if faithful, though they suffer some privations 
here, will ultimately inherit the earth and increase in power, do- 
minion, and glory.' 

"He spoke much to our edification, and was followed by Elder 
O. Pratt, after which the meeting was dismissed. The Twelve, 
colonels, captains, etc., of the camp then met at President 
Young's wagon and consulted about the measures to be adopted 
to get across the river. It was finally agreed to go immediately 
to the mountains with wagons and teams, and for every two tens 
to get poles and lash two or four wagons abreast to keep them 
from turning over and float them across the river with boats and 
ropes. So a company of horsemen started for the mountains with 
teams to draw the poles. 

"In the evening the flour, meal, and bacon which had been 
earned from the Missouri company for ferrying them over were 
distributed through the camp equally. It amounted to five and 
one-half pounds of flour, two pounds of meal and a small piece of 
bacon for each individual in the camp. It looked as much of a 
miracle to me to see our flour and meal bags replenished in the 
midst of the Black Hills as it did to have the Children of Israel 
fed with manna in the wilderness; but the Lord had been truly 
with us on our journey and wonderfully preserved and blessed us. 

"At daylight the next morning the first two tens were called 
together to make arrangements for crossing. Some of our party 
did not like the mode proposed of lashing wagons together, as the 
current was so strong, so we appointed Brother Grover as our cap- 
tain to direct the rafting and concluded to put our poles into a 
raft and carry our goods over in a boat and ford our wagons on 
the raft. 

"We commenced at 5 o'clock in the morning and in four 
hours we had landed eleven wagons of goods upon the north 
shore with our little leather boat, and during the day we got over 
all the wagons belonging to our tens, there being eleven wagons 
in all. 

"The rest of the encampment — being twelve tens — got over 
only the same number of wagons as ourselves. They floated their 
wagons by tying from two to four together, but the wagons turned 
clear over each other, bottom side up and back again, breaking 


the bows, covers, and boxes to pieces, and losing ploughs, axes, 
and iron that were left in the boxes. 

"Most of our company were in the water from morning till 
night, and all were very weary when the work was done. 

"Just as we had drawn Dr. Richards' two wagons to the 
shore and loaded his goods into them, a storm struck us. I 
sprang into my carriage, tied all down very tight and applied my 
whole strength in holding my wagon cover on, but the rain, wind, 
and hail beat so heavily that it was a task, and my bed and things 
were nearly drenched. It lasted only seven minutes, but was se- 
vere on our wagons and goods, and our horses ran two or three 
miles in the storm. I crossed the river, went after them, tied 
them up, and returned weary, but had some pleasant dreams that 

"I felt unwell next day from the exposures of the day before. 
My teeth ached. I had suffered much from them on my pioneer 
journey. It was quite windy and our companies crossed the river 
very slowly. Another Missouri company came up with us. 

"President Young thought it wisdom to leave a number of 
the brethren here until our companies which were expected to 
follow us should come up. Those who remained were to keep a 
ferry for the emigrants on the road not of our people. Such im- 
igrants were to pay $1.50 per wagon in flour at $2.00 per cwt, and 
in cows at $10.00 each. 

"The brethren made two new rafts on the third day of our 
fording the river and got quite a number of our pioneer wagons 
over. I was still unwell, but in company with Orson Pratt, I went 
on to some of the bluffs to view the country, and shot an antelope. 
This was the first antelope I ever killed. 

"We had some strong wind and heavy rain, and in the evening 
many of us went over the river and tied up our horses. When 
one company was returning in the leather boat, it half filled with 
water, and they came nearly sinking. 

"Early on the following morning, we swam our horses over, 
and one mule was nearly drowned by being tangled in a rope, but 
the current carried him ashore. 

"The day before, twenty men went down the river to dig out 
two large canoes to cover over and make a ferry boat. The emi- 


grants were arriving daily at our fording place, and they reported 
one thousand wagons between here and Laramie. This was the 
5th day spent in ferrying our pioneer company across the river, 
but now we had succeeded in getting all over, and we once more 
formed our wagons into a circle. Our brethren helped some of 
the Missourians to cross, and ran their boat all night in ferrying 
them over. 

"Next day while we were still ferrying them over another 
large company arrived. We gathered our cattle at 10 o'clock and 
harnessed our horses, but did not start, as all were not ready, so 
we turned our teams out again. 

"In the afternoon we held a council and resolved to leave nine 
men to conduct the ferry and to ford emigrant companies and 
also our own brethren who should come after us. The men were 
chosen and we met with them again in the evening. 

"President Young rebuked one who had asked to stay, but who 
later wished to continue on with us. He also instructed the breth- 
ren who were to tarry to keep together and divide their means 
accumulated equally according to their labor, for each to esteem 
his brother as himself, in no wise to retain that which belonged to 
the traveler, to be careful of the lives and property of those they 
ferried, not to forget their prayers, and to come up after us with 
the next company of Saints. 

"The men to remain at the ferry were Thomas Grover, cap- 
tain; John S. Higbee, Luke Johnson, William Empy, Edmund 
Elsworth, Benjamin F. Stewart, Francis Pomeroy, James Daven- 
port, and Appleton Harmon. 

"After seven days we continued our journey, traveled during 
the day twenty and one-half miles, and had the most wretched 
camping ground at night we had found on the way. President 
Young thought it might properly be called 'Hell Gate/ The 
country abounded with alkali and the water was extremely naus- 
eating. Our horses and cattle, being thristy, drank some and left 
it. Some of the cattle got badly mired in the marshes. Our hunt- 
ers brought in one buffalo, one deer, and three antelopes. 

"Early on Sunday morning, the 20th, we hitched up without 
feed or water and left our encampment of death, poison waters, 
and alkaline marshes and drove three miles to a good camping 


ground and sweet water. This was on the Willow Spring branch, 
about three miles from the head. 

"We halted two hours and took breakfast. President Young 
wished me to go on about fifteen miles and look up a camping 
ground for the night. So I went forward with George A. Smith 
to the head of the Willow Spring. Here he stopped with a doctor 
.of a Missouri company, who had been attending a sick family, to 
wait for our wagons to come up, and I rode on alone. After 
traveling alone several miles, Brother John Brown came up, and 
we rode on together over a sandy, barren, sage country to a creek 
of good water about ten miles west of the Willow Spring. We 
arrived here at half past 1 o'clock, and turned our horses out to 

"Here we tarried till four o'clock and watched for our wagons 
to come in sight, but we could see none. At length two horsemen 
were seen approaching and we waved a small flag for them to 
come to us, supposing they were of our company, but they turned 
out to be two hunters of the Missouri company, carrying in buffalo 
meat to their camp. In the distance they thought we were Indians 
and made off. 

"I mounted my horse and put after them and soon overtook 
them and made inquiries concerning our company. They said 
they had not seen it, but had seen about a dozen wagons coming 
by themselves. 

"I then concluded that our camp had stopped at the Willow 
Spring. Captain Smith, who was of the Missouri company, in- 
vited us to go on and camp with them for the night, as they did 
not expect to go more than a few miles farther than the creek we 
were then on. We could see five miles on the road back, and no 
wagons were in sight ; and as it was now five o'clock, I concluded 
our company would not come on, and if they did, they would 
come no farther than the creek. 

"We accepted Captain Smith's proposal, and went on with him 
to spend the night in his camp; but instead of journeying only a 
miles or so, he continued on mile after mile, finding neither feed 
nor water, excepting salt and alkaline ponds until we struck the 
Sweet Water at Independence Rock, so noted already in Fre- 


mont's journal, and by other travelers. This was twelve miles from 
the creek before spoken of. 

"The Sweet Waters were sweet indeed, both to man and beast, 
after traveling through so much alkali country, and there was 
good feed for the stock. 

"After a good supper of bacon, buffalo meat, corn bread, cof- 
fee, milk, etc., I lay down in the tent with the Missourians, but did 
not rest well. I found that there was a great difference between 
these Missouri emigrants and our own, where there was no such 
thing as cursing, swearing, quarreling, contending with other com- 
panies, etc., allowed or practiced. 

"But to return to our pioneer company. At a late hour they 
came up to the creek which we had left' twelve miles back, and 
grass being poor continued on four miles west of the creek, and 
camped for the night. Not finding me at the creek, nor hearing 
from me at all, they felt somewhat alarmed lest I was lost, or 
had got into trouble with the Indians. They blew the bugle and 
watched for me till midnight, and finally fired the cannon, while 
I was camped ten miles from them, not thinking that I was giving 
them any trouble. I traveled this day a distance of thirty miles 
and our pioneer company twenty. 

"I arose early this morning, June 21, took breakfast, and in 
company with Brother Brown rode around Independence Rock. 
We examined the many names and lists of names of the trappers, 
traders, travelers, and emigrants, nearly all in black, red, and yel- 
low paint. Some had been washed out or otherwise defaced. The 
greatest number was put on during recent years, but we found 
some of thirty years standing. Nearly all the companies who pass 
put their names on it. 

"After going around and examining it, we staked our horses 
and mounted it. I went forward and gained the high point on 
the south end of the Rock which contains the names. I then 
went to the north end, which is the highest point of Independence 
Rock. There is an opening or cavern that would contain thirty 
or forty persons and a rock standing upon the highest peak of 
about three tons weight. 

"Upon this rock we climbed to the highest point and offered 
up our prayers according to the order of the priesthood, praying 


earnestly for the blessing of God to rest upon President Young 
and his brethren the Twelve and all the Pioneer Camp, the whole 
Camp and House of Israel in the wilderness, our wives, children, 
and relatives, the Mormon Battalion, and the churches abroad. 
While offering up our prayers the spirit of- the Lord descended 
upon us. I was the first Latter-day Saint on Independence Rock. 

"We had a view of our camp from the rock,and expected they 
would noon there, so we mounted our horses and concluded to ex- 
amine the country around. We rode five miles to the northeast, 
went on the top of the high bluff and saw our camp in motion. 
We then rode to the foot of the mountain and traced the way to 
the Devil's Gate, through which the Sweet Water runs. Here we 
spent but a few moment's, and then hurried back to Independence 
Rock. As our camp had come up, before we could get to them, 
and camped half a mile east of it, I saw President Young going, up 
to Independence Rock, and I related to him my travels since I left 
the company. He asked me to go back with him, so I turned out 
my horse, having ridden him twenty miles during the forenoon, 
and returned with President Young, Willard Richards, George 
A. Smith, and others. We spent half an hour on the Rock and 
then returned to our camp, mounted our horses and rode to the 
Devil's Gate, five miles from Independence Rock. We rode as far 
as we could into the Gate, hitched our horses, and walked into 
about the centre of the cavern. 

"The Devil's Gate is about four hundred feet high, one hun- 
dred and twenty feet wide, and fifty rods long, and the water 
rushes through it with a roar. The rocks are coarse, gray granite 
with a vein of black trap rock running through them. We spent 
about half an hour here, and then had to back our horses out, 
after which we rode around it on the south side. Some of the 
footmen walked over the top of it. We camped for the night 
o.bout one mile west of the Devil's Gate, on the bank of the Sweet 

"A guide board was put up at Devil's Gate, stating that it was 
one hundred and seventy-five and one-fourth miles from Fort Lar- 
amie, and fifty and one-fourth from our ferry on the Platte River. 

"Two more Missouri companies overtook us at noon on our 
next day's travel, and they informed us that a man was drowned 


at the ferry, after we left, in trying to swim his horses, and that 
his body had not been found. 

"The camp started on again after our company had nooned; 
but Brothers Young, Little, Benson, and myself went back to 
meet Lorenzo Young, who had broken an axletree of his wagon, 
and we were behind all the afternoon. 

"After a journey of twenty and three-fourths miles, the pio- 
neers camped at night at the foot of a mound about two-hundred 
feet high, on the bank of Sweet Water. Brother Kimball and my- 
self went to the top of it and looked down upon the camp, and it 
appeared to us delightful. We offered up our prayers and the 
spirit of the Lord rested upon us, and then we descended to the 
camp. The moon was shining beautifully. On the 24th the best 
horse in camp, President Young's, was shot by accident. 

"On the evening of the 26th of June, after a travel of eighteen 
and three-fourths miles, we camped opposite the Table Rock and 
near the summit of the South Pass. I was quite astonished at the 
road and country to-day, considering we were crossing at the South 
Pass of the Rocky Mountains. It was the best road we had trav- 
eled over for many days, and had it not been for the Wind River 
range of mountains in full view on our right covered with eternal 
snow, and some snow banks ten feet deep by the side of the road 
as we passed along, with the Table Rock on the left, I should almost 
have thought myself traveling over the beautiful prairies of Illi- 
nois and Missouri, except that the country was covered with more 
sage than prairie grass. The road for many miles, and also the 
plain of beautiful grass lying north of the Table Rock, were 
strewn with very handsome cornelian stones. I saw more in one 
hour this evening than ever before during my whole life, either 
in the rude state or polished, in all the jewelers' shops I ever saw 
' in my travels. 

"Elders Kimball, Pratt, G. A. Smith, and Brown had gone 
on to take observation on the dividing ridge. They continued on 
to the Green River, seven miles from us, which runs into the Pa- 
cific, while we were on the Sweet Waters, that run in an easterly 
direction. They supposed that we would come on to them, and as 
they did not return, several of us mounted our horses to go in 
search of them, but we soon met Brother Kimball returning, and 



he informed us that the rest of the brethren would camp on the 
Green River with some men from Oregon on their way to the 

"June 27th, 1847, was the third anniversary of the martyrdom 
of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. 

"It was Sunday morning, but we harnessed up our teams and 
drove to where Brothers Pratt and Smith had camped with Major 
Harris, who had been traveling through Oregon and California 
for twenty-five years, and had a wide acquaintance with the coun- 
try. He brought a file of Oregon papers and one published by S. 
Brannon of California. We had a great deal of conversation with 
him. He spoke unfavorably of the Salt Lake country for a settle- 
ment, butr spoke of other places not far off that were good. 

"We parted with Major Harris next day, after doing some 
trading with him, and in our afternoon's travel met Mr. Bridger 
of the Fort on the way with men going to Fort Laramie. He 
was expecting us and wished to have an interview with President 
Young and the Twelve. We also wished to have an interview 
with him. We immediately returned to the Creek upon which 
we had nooned and camped for the night, and Mr. Bridger and 
his men camped with us. 

"We met in council with Mr. Bridger, and spent some hours 
in conversation, and found him to be a great traveler, possessing 
an extensive knowledge of nearly all Oregon and California, the 
mountains, lakes, rivers, springs, valleys, mines, ore, etc. He spoke 
more highly of the Great Basin for a settlement than Major Har- 
ris had done. He said it was his paradise and that if this people 
settled in it he would settle with them ; and that there was but one 
thing that could operate against its becoming a great grain coun- 
try, and that would be frost, as he did not know but the frost 
might affect the corn. He conversed with us about a great vari-* 
ety of subjects connected with the country; said he was ashamed 
of the maps of Fremont, who knew nothing about the country, 
only the plain traveled road, and that he could correct all the maps 
published of the western world. 

"We parted next day from Mr. Bridger who remarked that 
it would not be prudent to bring a great population to the Basin 
until we ascertained whether grain would grow or not. O. P. 


Rockwell and myself went forward to pick out a camping ground. 
We traveled fifteen miles from where we nooned before we could 
get grass, and this made the longest day's journey on the whole 
route, making twenty-three and three-fourths miles. 

"We traveled three miles on the last day of June, and camped 
on the bank of the Green River at the ferry. The afternoon was 
spent in building a raft, as the river was high and could only be 
crossed upon rafts or boats. 

"During the afternoon, the arrival of Elder Samuel S. Bran- 
non from the bay of San Francisco was announced in camp, and 
we were glad to meet with him, and to hear from the Saints who 
went with him. He gave us an account of their landing, their 
travels, and present settlement, which was two hundred miles up 
the river from the bay. They were putting in wheat and building 
up their place. 

"During the following three days we were fording Green 
River. On the afternoon of the second, the Twelve held a council 
and four men were appointed to return and meet the Camp of 
Israel and pilot them. We each wrote our wives concerning the 
counsel to be given the camp. I wrote letters next day to my 
father, A. O. Smoot, and John Benbow, to be taken back by the 
pilots. The ferrying was finished on the evening of the third 
day and we moved on three miles and camped. 

"The Fourth of July came on Sunday. I accompanied Pres- 
ident Young, Brothers Kimball, Richards, and others with the 
pilots to the ferry to put them across ; and when we arrived at the 
river we saw thirteen horsemen on the opposite bank with their 
baggage on one of our rafts. To our great joy, who should they 
be but our brethren of the Mormon Battalion belonging to Cap- 
tain Brown's detachment, who had been at Pueblo during the win- 
ter. Amasa Lyman, whom we had sent to them, had reached them 
with information of our movements and the whole detachment of 
one hundred and forty of the brethren were within seven days' 
drive of us. 

"When we met these brethren there was truly a hearty greet- 
ing and shaking of hands. We put them all over the river except- 
ing one who returned with our pilots to meet the following com- 
panies of the Saints. This small detachment of the Battalion had 


about a dozen of their horses stolen by some horse thieves, but 
they overtook them and got them all back but two which had 
gone on to Bridger. 

"We left Green River (the headwaters of the Colorado) on 
the 5th, drove twenty miles, and camped on Black's Fork. There 
was neither feed nor water between this place and Green River, 
but similar to the last two hundred miles, a sandy desert covered 
with sage brush. 

"Next evening we camped on the west side of Ham's Fork, 
which we crossed on the following day and drove to Fort Bridger. 
In the region of the Fort, before we got on to our camping ground, 
we crossed more than a dozen trout brooks, the water running 
swiftly but clear, with hard, gravelly bottoms, and the whole 
region of country up and down these streams was covered with 
grass knee deep. 

"The brethren caught several brook trout which was the first 
I had seen since I left England, and as we were to spend the 
next day at the Fort, I calculated on a day of fishing. As soon 
as I had my breakfast next morning, I rigged up my fishing rod 
that I had brought with me from Liverpool, fixed my reel line and 
artificial fly, and went to one of the brooks close by to try my 

"The men at the Fort said that there were but few trout in the 
streams, and a good many of the brethren were already at the 
creeks with their rods trying their skill, baiting with fresh meat 
and grasshoppers, but no one was catching any. 

"I threw my fly into the water, and it being the first time 
that I ever tried the artificial fly in America or ever saw it tried, 
I watched it as it floated upon the water with as much interest as 
Franklin did his kite when he was experimenting in drawing light- 
ning from the sky; and as he received great joy when he saw the 
electricity descend on his kite string, so was I highly gratified 
when I saw the nimble trout dart at my fly hook, and run away 
with the line. I soon worried him out and drew him to shore. 

"I fished two or three hours during the morning and evening 
and caught twelve in all. One half of them would weigh three- 
fourths of a pound each, while all the rest of the camp did not 


catch three pounds in all, which was taken as proof that the arti- 
ficial fly is far the best to fish with. 

"In the afternoon I went to Bridgets house and traded off 
my flint-lock rifle for four buffalo robes which were large, nice, 
and well dressed. I found things generally at least one-third 
higher than I had ever known them at any other trading post 1 
ever saw in America. 

"I arose in the morning quite unwell and felt threatened with 
the mountain fever, yet I mounted my horse and rode till ten 
o'clock; but before I started I was called upon to administer to 
Brother Carter, who was taken with the fever. There were new 
cases of the mountain fever every day in camp. At ten o'clock 
I had to give up and take to my bed in the wagon with distressing 
pain in my head, back, joint bones, marrow and all through my 
system, attended with cold chills and hot flashes through the body. 
We traveled over thirteen miles of as bad road as any we had on 
our journey, which made it exceedingly painful to the sick. The 
day seemed very long to me. When we stopped at night, I took 
composition, cayenne, and a dose of vegetable pills, had a better 
night than I expected ; and though I was feeble in the morning, T 
felt that my fever was broken up and I was recovering. 

"The night of the 10th we camped one and-a half miles from 
Bear River, by the best stream of water we had found on the 
route, and a small stream near by a valley six miles long, grass 
knee deep, strong mineral springs, copper, lead, coal, and lime. 

"Camp fires were discovered about three miles from our 
camping ground and George A. Smith and others went over to 
them and found them to be in the camp of a Mr. Miles Goodyear. 
He had settled at Salt Lake and had a garden and vegetables, he 
said, doing well. Several Missourians were with him going to the 

"The subject was brought up concerning the emigrant com- 
pany who had perished in the mountains last winter. They were 
mostly from Independence and Clay Counties, Missouri, and were 
a mob company that threatened to drive out the Mormons who 
were in. California, and started with that spirit in their hearts. 
But it seemed as though they were ripe for judgment. The snows 


fell upon them eighteen feet deep on a level, many died and others 
turned cannibal. About forty persons perished. They were most- 
ly eaten up by those who survived them. Mrs. L. Murphy of 
Tennessee, whom" I baptized while on a mission in that country, 
but since apostatized and joined the mob, was in that company 
and died, or was killed, and eaten. Her bones were sawed to 
pieces for her brains and marrow, and then left strewn upon the 

"We spent the Sunday in camp, but some of the brethren rode 
out to seek out the road and found a tar spring about fifteen miles 
south of our camp. 

"Early Monday morning, I rode to Bear River, and for the 
first time I saw the long-looked-for Bear River Valley. 

"The spot where we stAick it was not very interesting. There 
was considerable grass in the valley and some timber and thick 
brushes on the bank of the river. My object in riding to the river 
before the camp was to try my luck in fishing for trout. After 
fishing for several hours, I started after the camp, having caught 
eight trout in all. 

"The pioneers had traveled nine miles and nooned in a valley. 
I found President Young very sick with the fever. The company 
had started on, but President Young lay so sick that he concluded 
not to move from where he was. Brothers Kimball, Benson, Rock- 
wood, and others stayed with him with their wagons. 

"We drove without any road over hills and dales, having to 
make our road as we went along. We camped at night by the 
side of Reddings Cave. The valleys were beginning to grow more 
fertile and the air more pacific. 

"I arose quite unwell in the morning. Several brethren went 
to meet President Young, and the camp lay still waiting for him 
to come up. Brother Kimball came at noon and a council of the 
whole camp was called, and it was resolved that Orson Pratt take 
a company of about twenty wagons and forty men and go on to 
the canyon and make a road as they went, so we would not be hin- 
dered when we came along. There were twenty-three wagons in 
all that started at 1 o'clock. 

"We had found but little game for many days until yesterday, 
when the hunters brought in twelve antelopes, and ten today. 


"President Young was better today, but decided not to move 
until to-morrow. In the afternoon I walked out with Elder Rich- 
ards, in search of springs of water. 

"Next morning I rode back seven miles to visit President 
Young and found him much better in health and quite cheerful. 
The evening before, Dr. Richards, myself, and George A. Smith 
went before the Lord and prayed for Brother Young, and we had 
a testimony that he would recover from that hour. I found 
Brother Rockwood the sickest man that had been in our company. 
I tarried until near night, assisting the sick, and then returned 
to our encampment. 

"I started early on the morrow with my carriage and horses 
to go back for President Young and Brother Rockwood. I was 
two hours driving seven miles to their camp. I found them much 
better, and they thought they could ride, as my carriage was the 
easiest vehicle in our company. I made up a bed and took them 
both into my carriage, and the rest of the wagons started and 
drove to the main body. The sick seemed refreshed by their ride. 
After a short halt, the whole company drove four and a half miles 
and camped for the night. 

"Next day I again took Brothers Young and Rockwood in my 
carriage and drove them during the day. We had bad roads foi 
the sick, and Brother Brigham was worn out and worse at night. 
At night I went to Weber Fork, one mile from our encampment, 
and caught a trout for him. 

"He was still sick in the morning, and after we had driven 
three miles on to the Weber's Fork, we camped the remainder of 
the day because President Young was worse. The Twelve and 
others went out and prayed for him and for the sick generally, 
according to the order of the priesthood. 

"Sunday, the 18th, was spent holding meeting; and on the 
morrow morning, forty-one wagons went on. With them were 
Dr. Richards' and George A Smith's. Fifteen wagons remained 
with President Young. Two of mine were of the number. 

"In company with Heber C. Kimball, E. T. Benson, and How- 
ard Egan, I rode over the mountain called Pratt's Pass, with the 
company that went on, and then returned to President Young. 

Next morning we started early and stopped for breakfast 


after a five-mile drive. I carried Brother Brigham in my carriage. 
The fever was still on him, but he stood the ride well. 

"After breakfast we traveled ten miles over the worst road 
of the whole journey. Our camping ground at night was on a 
trout creek. Here we found three wagons that had tarried in 
consequence of the sick. Brothers Sherwood, Johnson, and Dewey 
were so sick they could not journey, and we camped with them 
and baptized them for their health, and I confirmed them. This 
morning Brother Pratt's company was only eight miles furtlier on 
than where we camped at night. 

"We remained in camp next day because of sickness. We 
were on East Canyon Creek, and the route we were taking was 
Reed's Pass, which we named Pratt's Pass, in consequence of his 
going on to make the road. 

"Next day eight miles of our journey was made, and East 
Canyon Creek was reached. It was eight miles of the worst of 
roads, and Brother Case smashed one of his hind wheels. We had 
to wait two hours to bring his wagon up. The sick stood the 
journey better than we expected during the day, considering the 
bad road. 

"We left East Canyon Creek on the 23rd and traveled to the 
west five miles up hill which brought us to the summit, and then 
descended the mountain six miles through a thick timber grove. 
The timbers had been cut out of the road, yet it was full of stumps 
and it kept each teamster very busy to dodge the stumps and not 
break his wagon. One man turned his wagon over and smashed 
the top all to pieces. There were two children in the wagon, but 
they were not hurt. 

"We nooned at a beautiful spring in a small birch grove. 
There was more timber during this half day's travel than we had 
seen in a month, and the valleys, both ascending and descending, 
were extremely fertile and covered with vegetation to the tops of 
the hills. 

At the spring where we nooned we were met by Brothers 
Pack and Matthews from the forward camps. They brought us 
a letter informing us that it was only ten miles to the valley of the 
Great Salt Lake, or Great Basin, and fourteen to their camp. They 
had explored the country as far as possible and made choice of a 


spot to put in crops. After nooning we traveled up another very 
tedious hill and down into a valley and camped for the night. 

"This, the 24th day of July, 1847, was an important day in 
the history of my life, and in the history of the Church of Jesus 
Christ of Latter-day Saints. After traveling from our encamp- 
ment six miles through the deep ravine valley ending with the 
canyon, we came in full view of the valley of the Great Salt Lake, 
or the Great Basin — the Land of Promise, held in reserve by the 
hand of God as a resting place for the Saints. 

"We gazed with wonder and admiration upon the vast fer- 
tile valley spread out before us for about twenty-five miles in 
length and sixteen miles in width, clothed with a heavy garment 
of vegetation, and in the midst of which glistened the waters of 
the Great Salt Lake, with mountains all around towering to the 
skies, and streams, rivulets and creeks of pure water running 
through the beautiful valley. 

"After a hard journey from Winter Quarters of more than 
one thousand miles, through flats of the Platte River and plateaus 
of the Black Hills and Rocky Mountains and over the burning 
sands, and eternal sage regions, willow swails and rocky regions, 
to gaze upon a valley of such vast extent surrounded with a per- 
fect chain of everlasting mountains covered with eternal snow, 
with their innumerable peaks like pyramids towering towards 
heaven, presented at one view to us the grandest scenery and pros- 
pect that we could have obtained on earth. Thoughts of pleasant 
meditation ran in rapid succession through our minds at the an- 
ticipation that not many years hence the House of God would 
be established in the mountains and exalted above the hills, while 
the valleys would be converted into orchards, vineyards, fields, 
etc., planted with cities, and the standard of Zion be unfurled, 
unto which the nations would gather. 


In Retrospect.— First Crop of Potatoes Planted. — The Beginning of 
Irrigation. — First Sunday. — Explorations South to Utah Lake. — 
Choice of Temple Block. — Address by Brigham Young.— Return to 
Winter Quarters. — Meet the Second Company of Pioneers. — En- 
counter with the Indians. — Reach Winter Quarters, Oct. 31, 1847. — 
First Presidency Organized, Dec. 27, 1847. 

As the valley presented itself to view before the gaze of this 
sturdy band of pioneers, President Young expressed his full sat- 
isfaction with the place. The Lord had shown him the view be- 
fore in a vision; and now as he lay upon his bed (still physically 
indisposed) in Elder Woodruff's carriage, the Lord also showed 
him many things concerning the future of the valley; and with 
one united testimony, the pioneer company felt that they had 
reached their destination. They could now rest the soles of their 
feet in peace and be free from fury of angry mobs. 

That was sixty years ago; and in view of the great change 
which has been brought about, we are led to exclaim, "What 
hath God wrought!'' Then, sage-brush plain, with no inhab- 
itants excepting the wandering Lamanite, not a building, not a 
fence, not a furrow, the silence of a barren desert reigned su- 
preme. To-day, a mighty city of 100,000 people stands, with 
a Temple of the Lord, many houses of worship and of learn- 
ing, modern inventions, and all other evidences of civilization. 
It is one of the most beautiful cities in all the land, where the 
weary traveler and the home-seeker from nearly every land and 
clime have found a place of rest. What a debt of gratitude these 
busy thousands owe to the pioneers of sixty years ago will not 
be fully known until they are quickened by a perfect understand- 
ing of man's relationship to God and man, and the purposes of 
a Supreme Being. 

Orson Pratt, Erastus Snow, and a number of others had en- 
tered the valley two days before and had already plowed by the 
side of two small streams nearly five acres of land. After gaz- 
ing a short time over the valley, the company moved over the 


table-land into the valley about four miles to the encampment of 
their brethren. Brother Woodruff had one-half bushel of po- 
tatoes, and before eating his dinner, he planted them in the earth 
and hoped, by the blessings of the Lord, to save enough for seed 
the following year. 

There were no idlers in the camp, all were busy as bees. 
They dammed up one creek, and before night had spread the water 
over a large tract and irrigated the parched ground. This was 
the beginning of irrigation in the Salt Lake Valley, July 24, -1847. 
Since then the work of irrigation has spread abroad in all the arid 
regions of the West from Nebraska to California. The various 
methods of utilizing the water have been studied and improved. 
Irrigation has occupied the attention of great minds assembled 
in Congresses to discuss the subject, and has been considered 
in the legislative halls of the nation ; but the pioneers in this 
enterprise were the little band of faithful and great men led by the 
Prophet Brigham Young to the Valleys of the Mountains. 

Of the future, Elder Woodruff records the meditations of 
their minds on that occasion thus : "Thoughts of pleasant medi- 
tations ran in rapid succession through our minds in anticipation 
that not many years hence the House of God would be established 
in the mountains and be exalted above the hills, while the val- 
leys would be converted into orchards, vineyards, and fields plant- 
ed with cities, and the Sandard of Zion be unfurled for the gath- 
ering of the nations. " Such positive utterances show how deeply 
convinced were the pioneers that God had led them to the valley. 
They knew the future in general, as well as we of to-day know the 
past in detail. They said that the Lord had shown it unto them, 
and the fulfillment of their predictions proves that He did. It 
would indeed be a wilful unbelief on the part of the descendants 
of these pioneers to doubt the inspiration which guided President 
Young and his associates in the settlement of the Salt Lake 

Toward the evening of the 24th, as if to give hope of future 
moisture, the Lord sent a beautiful thunder shower, and it rained 
for a short time over the entire valley. President Woodruff 
says: "We felt thankful for this, as it was the general opinion 
that it never rained in the valley during the summer season." 
Thus closed the day, the great Pioneer Day, to be celebrated each 


year by thousands and indeed by millions yet unborn. 

The following day was Sunday, and the pioneers met for 
worship at about 10 a. m. The first sermon delivered in the 
valley was by President Geo. A. Smith, and Bro. Woodruff 
writes that, "It was an interesting discourse." 

President Heber C. Kimball and Ezra T. Benson also spoke in 
the forenoon. 

At 2 p. m., the Sacrament was administered. The congre- 
gation was addressed by Elders Wilford Woodruff, Orson Pratt, 
Willard Richards, and several others with closing instructions 
by President Young in which he warned them against breaking 
the Sabbath. They must not work, fish, or hunt on that day. 
He warned them against sin of every kind, and thus there was 
begun the work of God in the Valleys of the Mountains. 

On Monday the 26th President Young and several brethren 
ascended the summit of a mountain on the north which they 
named Ensign Peak, a name it has borne ever since. Elder Wood- 
ruff was the first to gain the summit of the peak. Here they un- 
furled the American flag, the Ensign of Liberty to the world. 
It will be remembered that the country then occupied by the 
Saints was Mexican soil, and was being taken possession of by 
the Mormon Battalion and pioneers as a future great common- 
wealth to the credit and honor of the United States. 

Elder Woodruff soon became active in exploring the valley, 
and penetrating southward to the Utah Lake. He came in con- 
tact with roaming Indians but found them friendly and desirous 
of trading with the whites. After exploring a couple of days, 
and seeing the new land, with here and there a herd of mountain 
goats, sheep, and antelope, he and his brethren returned to the 
pioneer encampment. 

Four days after the arrival of the pioneers in the Valley, 
they selected the site upon which to build the Temple of the Lord. 
President Young called the Twelve together on this important 
occasion, and all were united in the choice of the Temple Block. 
Those who were present on that occasion were President Brigham 
Young, Elders Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, Willard Richards, 
Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith, Amasa Lyman, and Ezra T. 

At that time it was moved and carried that the Temple lot 


should contain -forty acres, but later it was deemed too large a 
tract to care for properly, and the lot was limited to the ten acre 
block upon which the Temple now stands. 

The city was laid out in blocks of ten acres, divided into 
eight lots, of equal size, one and a fourth acres in each. Presi- 
dent Young expressed a desire that the houses be built in the 
center of the lot, so that in case of fire the neighbors' houses 
would not be endangered, being so far apart. The design of Presi- 
dent Young was that no speculation in lands by the brethren 
should be allowed whereby the first comers should enrich them- 
selves at the expense of their brethren who should follow. 

Close up to the city limits, the farming land was parceled 
out in five acre plats, joining them a little farther out into ten 
acres, and outside of these, twenty acre fields. This arrangement 
prevented any one man from holding a large tract near the city, 
and by so doing prevented speculation by the individual to the 
detriment of the whole community. 

The city could easily extend its borders without purchasing 
much land from any one individual. In other words, the inter- 
est of the whole was to be uppermost in the mind of each man, 
and the spirit of greed and avarice seldom asserted itself on the 
part of those noble founders of Utah's great commonwealth." 

I have heard my respected step-father, Jesse W. Fox, say 
that he surveyed many of the cities and much of the land between 
Logan and St. George, a distance of over 400 miles, and the 
desire to select a town lot or a farm lot in any of the places 
for speculative purposes never entered his heart ; and if any one 
asked him to select one for him he promptly refused, saying that 
those who owned the land should be the builders on it and that 
no one by his assistance should ever speculate at the expense 
of the poor Saints coming to the Valley to serve God and keep His 
commandments . 

This was the spirit and sentiment of President Young, Elder 
Woodruff, and all those noble men, and it was generally shared 
throughout all the camp of Israel. Indeed, it is the spirit of the 
Gospel of Christ. 

On July 29th, about one hundred and forty of the Mormon 
Battalion came into camp with one hundred Saints from Mississip- 
pi. Captains Brown, Higgins, and Lieutenant Willis of the Bat- 


talion were among the number. They were met about four miles 
out by President Young and party, and received from them a 
hearty welcome to the home of the Saints. 

They brought with them sixty wagons, one hundred head of 
horses and mules, three hundred head of cattle, all of which served 
to strengthen very materially the settlement of the Saints. While 
some were exploring, others were plowing and planting so that 
in less than a week from the 24th of July they had fields planted 
with potatoes, corn, beans, peas, and buckwheat. 

What a busy, hopeful, energetic scene the Pioneer Camp 
must have presented at that time! They visited the warm and 
hot sulphur springs on the north, and bathed in the latter. 

A number of the Utah Indians visited the camp, and the 
subject of the course to be pursued in dealing with them was dis- 
cussed, and the counsel to feed them and not fight them has been 
followed by the Latter-day Saints from that day to the present. 
Had this policy been pursued by all the whites, much blood and 
treasure would have been saved to the nation; and it is safe to 
say that many lives and much property have been saved the 
people by the course of peace and love pursued by the Latter-day 
Saints toward their red brethren. 

Sunday, August 1st, the Saints assembled for worship and 
were edified by discourses from Elders Kimball, Pratt, Lyman, 
and others. Elder Willard Richards read a letter from the com- 
manding officers of the Battalion highly commending the de- 
portment of the Mormon volunteers in the American service. 
The revelation given to President Young at Winter Quarters 
was read to the assembly and accepted as the word of the Lord 
by their unanimous vote. 

In the evening the Twelve met in council and decided that 
Brother Ezra T. Benson and three others should return east 
until they met the company following the pioneers, ascertain their 
welfare, and bring on the mail. 

Elder Woodruff joined with Elder Geo. A. Smith in cutting 
and hauling logs for their cabins while awaiting also the prepar- 
ation of adobes for their more permanent dwellings. Brother 
Woodruff reports his first day at chopping logs as very fatiguing. 
Many of the horses belonging to the pioneers were exposed to the 


Indians, but none was stolen, "and this," writes Elder Woodruff, 
"increased our confidence in the Indians." 

About^this time President Young felt impressed that he and 
the brethren of the camp should renew their covenants by baptism. 
August 6th, the Twelve were rebaptized by President Young. 
Elder Kimball baptized President Young and the latter confirmed 
his brethren and re-sealed upon them all their former blessings. 
Following this, the brethren selected their inheritances. Brother 
Woodruff's was the corner diagonally across the street from the 
south-west corner of the Temple Block, facing the east and north. 

In the evening Elder Kimball baptized fifty-five members of 
the camp. Elder Woodruff assisted in their confirmation. August 
the 8th the general work of rebaptizing continued. Elders Kim- 
ball, Snow, Lewis, Goddard, Everett, and Shumway did the bap- 
tizing, while President Young and the Twelve confirmed. "This 
made 288 in all who had been rebaptized during the last three 
days. The camp assembled as usual at 10 o'clock for public 
meeting and was addressed »by Heber C. Kimball, much to our 
edification. I followed and was never blessed with greater lib- 
erty of speech." 

The practice of the Saints coming into the Valley to renew 
their covenants by baptism was followed for many years, but 
later, when the organizations abroad became more perfect, and 
the Saints came with speedy and direct transportation from their 
native lands to the stakes of Zion, this practice has been discon- 
tinued as not being of the same necessity as in the early pioneer 

Sunday, August 15th, Elder Woodruff attended the ser- 
vices and reported a lengthy and very interesting discourse by 
President Brigham Young. On the 11th a little child of Brother 
Crow was drowned and President Young offered some consoling 
remarks bearing upon this sad event, and he also spoke upon the 
resurrection. Much of his discourse was upon the authority of 
the priesthood, from which we quote a few lines: "Brother 
Joseph received the Patriarchal or Melchisedek Priesthood from 
under the hands of Peter, James, and John. From those Apostles 
Joseph received every power, blessing, and privilege of the high- 
est authority of the Melchisedek Priesthood ever committed to 
man on the earth. Some have had fears that we had not power to 


obtain revelations since the death of Joseph, but I want this sub- 
ject from this time and forever to be set at rest. I want the 
Church to understand from this day henceforth and forever, that 
an Apostle is the highest office and authority that there is in the 
Church and Kingdom of God on the earth. Joseph Smith gave 
unto me and my brethren, the Twelve, all the priesthood, power, 
and authority which he held, and those are powers which belong 
to the Apostleship. We shall take time, and each step the Saints 
take, let them take time enough to understand it. Everything 
at Nauvoo went with a rush. We had to build the Temple with 
the trowel in one hand and the sword in the other, ana mobs were 
upon us all the while, and many crying out, 'Oh ! the Temple can't 
be built.' I told them it should be built. This Church should not 
fall; and the Lord said if we did not build it we should be re- 
jected as a Church with our dead. Why did He say it? Because 
the Saints were becoming slothful and covetous, and would spend 
their means upon fine houses for themselves before they would 
put it into a House of the Lord ; but we went at it and finished it 
and turned it over into the hands of the Lord in spite of earth 
and hell, and the brethren were so faithful that we labored day 
and night to give them their endowments. 

"When I look upon the great work the elders of Israel have 
to perform, and look around upon them, and see them vain and 
foolish, it makes me sorrowful. They forget their calling. O, 
ye elders of Israel, think for a moment what manner of persons 
ought ye to be — men who hold the priesthood and keys of salva- 
tion, who have power to go to the nations of the earth and say 
to the people, 'We have salvation for you if you will receive it, 
and celestial glory awaits you; or condemnation, if you reject 
it.' It is no trifling affair to have power put into your hands to 
deal with the eternal destinies of the sons and daughters of Adam 
who form the nations of the earth/' 

In the afternoon Elders Orson Pratt and Erastus Snow edi- 
fied the people under the influence of the spirit of the Lord. In 
conference of the leading men, they gave to the city the name of 
"The City of the Great Salt Lake." It has since been abbreviated 
to Salt Lake City. The stream running westward was given the 
name of "City Creek," which it still bears ; the river on the west, 
"Western Jordan," to distinguish it from Jordan in Palestine ; the 


two streams from the mountains on the east, "Great Canyon 
Creek" and "Little Canyon Creek." In the main, these names 
have been preserved. It was also decided to fence the city, and 
to appoint a president, and high council for the new stake of Zion. 

Elder Woodruff and his associates were occupied until 
August 26th in setting things in order and preparing for the 
pioneers' return to Winter Quarters. 

On the way, they met Elder Benson as a messenger from 
the moving camp of Israel, and later on met the camp itself in 
different bodies, chiefly in charge of Elders Parley P. Pratt 
and John Taylor. The whole company consisted of 600 wagons. 
President Woodruff met his father in the train but his step-mother 
had gone back to Iowa to live with her daughter Emma. On 
the journey many interesting meetings were held and much choice 
instruction given and some reproofs meted out, especially by 
President Brigham Young. It was a constant schooling. Like 
ancient Israel, the Saints were not free from faults, and needed 
training and reproving to prepare them for greater things. 

Brother Woodruff recorded in his journal nearly all the coun- 
sels, teachings, and ministrations of President Young which oc- 
curred on the journey. A few incidents of an exciting nature 
occurred on the route. On the 10th of September, near the Sweet 
Water, the horses were stolen, and also those belonging to the 
Saints on their way to the Valley. Of this episode Elder Wood- 
ruff writes: "The alarm was given early next morning that a 
lot of our horses and mules were stolen. Bells were found cut 
from the horses, also lariats cut off, an arrow picked up, and other 
signs of Indians were in evidence. The trail was finally found 
and a company of 200 horsemen started in pursuit of the Indians. 
It looked gloomy to see so many women and children here in the 
mountains with their horses and cattle .stolen. Thirty norses were 
taken from the pioneer camps, and twenty from the other camps. 
"The company remained together during the day, and in the 
evening assembled for meeting and was addressed by Orson Pratt, 
Heber C. Kimball, and Brigham Young. During the evening, 
two of the brethren returned from the pursuit of the Indians and 
brought back five of the horses. 

"Next morning we parted with our friends who were going 
West, and those of us who had not lost horses divided with those 



who had. As we journeyed on, we met the remainder of our 
brethren returning from the Indian chase, but with no more of 
the horses that were stolen. The enemy had taken forty three." 

Ten days later, on the morning of September 21st, another 
exciting disturbance with the Indians took place. He writes: 
"About 9 a. m. the call was made to get our horses'. I started 
for them in the timber, one-half mile from camp. When about 
two thirds of the way one of the most exciting scenes occurred. 
I heard several reports of guns in quick succession. At the same 
time, our guard cried out, 'Indians ! Indians !' In less than a 
minute the timber and bluffs were lined with mounted Indians 
charging with all speed upon our guard, horses, and camps. They 
shot at several of the guards but missed them. The Indians took 
a couple of the guards and tried- to carry them off by force, but 
the guards knocked them down with their fists and escaped. Some 
of the brethren snapped their guns at the Indians but the guns 
missed fire and no blood was shed. 

"As soon as I heard the report of the guns and the cry 
of Indians, and saw them driving off horses, and gathering thick 
and fast upon every hand, I ran to camp with all speed and gave 
the alarm, calling upon all to gather arms and mount their horses. 
Brothers Kimball, Rockwood, Matthews, and several others sprang 
to their horses with guns and pistols in hand and ran to stop 
the horses the Indians were driving away. One party of Indians 
had driven about a dozen horses and mules over the hills. Broth- 
er Kimball took after them. Two Indians had gone over the 
bluff with my horse and mule. Brother Rockwood went after 
them, and at the same time about 20 of our horses came rushing to- 
ward camp, frightened by the Indians. With great exertion Presi- 
dent Young and one or two others succeeded in getting them 
stopped and turned them into camp. 

"As soon as I arrived in camp, I opened my trunk, took out 
my belt containing 8 pistol shots, buckled it on as soon as pos- 
sible, put a saddle and bridle on a broken down horse, for want 
of a better one, and mounted without spur or whip and gave chase 
after my own horses. I could not go fast over rough roads with 
a poor horse, but went as fast as possible. As soon as I began to 
ascend the bluffs, I saw Indians gathering thick on every hand, 
closing in between me and the camp. As I passed one Indian, 


he was priming his gun, but I continued the chase. While going 
up a ravine with steep bluffs on each side, an avalanche of some 
thirty Indians rushed down upon me and hedged me in so that 
I could not get out. Within a few feet of me a large Indian drew 
a gun on me. I presented a sixshooter at his breast and gave a 
yell, which I had no sooner done than he gave a whoop and ran up 
the hill, all the other Indians following his example. 

"As soon as my horse and mule got over their fright and 
were out of sight of the camp, they tried to return to it, and 
troubled the Indians in driving them. Brother Rockwood soon 
came near them, and when the Indians found they were overtaken, 
one "stopped and professed friendship, while the other tried to 
drive the horses on. Brother Rockwood fired his pistol at him- 
and the Indians both ran away, and we soon caught the horses. 
While this was going on, nearly forty Indians surrounded Broth- 
er Kimball and some of the brethren started to his assistance. 
Indians were also on every side of me until I got to the camp. 

"The brethren who were with me having gone to the assis- 
tance of Brother Kimball, the camp was left with but few to 
protect it, so that when I arrived I found one hundred and fifty 
warriors had gathered around it, all dressed in tke greatest war 
style. The old chief then addressed us and said they were good 
Sioux, and they had taken us to be Crows or Snakes. When they 
found they could get no more of our horses and that three had 
been retaken, they professed friendship. There were eleven horses 
in all taken by the Indians who numbered about 200 warriors, 
well mounted, while there were not more than 20 of our men en- 
gaged in stopping and retaking the horses. Brother Gould took 
one of the Indian's horses and an Indian brought back Brother 
Woolsey's horse and exchanged for him. This, with my two 
horses, were the only ones taken during the skirmish. 

"When the Indians gathered before our camp, they saw that 
we were armed, and knew that we had treated them kindly on our 
way to the Valley. The old chief then proposed that we smoke 
the pipe of peace; and that if our chief, pointing to President 
Young, would go to their camp, they would smoke with him and 
give up the horses they had taken. Brother Brigham was not 
well, and we did not think it prudent for him to go. 

"While engaged in the above conversation with the Indians, 


Brother Kimball who had been out on the chase, returned bare 
headed, having dropped his hat. He was accompanied by Brother 
Benson, and in riding into camp rushed his horse through the 
midst of the Indians. They feared some treachery, or that he 
was an enemy. They leaped upon their horses and dashed away 
from the camp, some even running into the creek. As soon as 
they saw that no harm was intended, they returned and took their 
places, having a hearty laugh at their fright. 

"Brother Kimball volunteered to accompany the chief into his 
camp, in place of President Young, that we might get our horses. 
Brother Stephen Markham and myself volunteered to go with 
him, so we three mounted our horses and started on the expedi- 
tion. We took a Frenchman with us who could speak a little of 
the Sioux language. 

"The Indians told us their camp was one mile away, but we 
traveled seven miles over bluffs and valleys before we came in 
sight of it. The camp was three miles distant yet, so we halted 
and waited for them. When they came up to us they pitched 
about one hundred lodges. They numbered about six hundred, 
men, women, and children, and brought with them about one thou- 
sand horses and mules, all of which we supposed were stolen 
from emigrants and from Indian tribes. 

"Their camps presented a very picturesque and amusing ap- 
pearance. Among their horses we readily recognized our own, 
which were stolen on the night we camped with Brother Grant's 
company. We lost nearly fifty head that night and here they were 
in the drove which these Indians had. 

"The old chief called together the war chiefs and placed 
them on his left hana, and ourselves on his right, and sac do i vTi 
upon the grass, filled a long pipe with kinnikinic, smoked it, and 
passed it to his chiefs. They smoked and passed it to us, and we 
each smoked in turn. The old chief then told us to pick out our 
horses, which we undertook to do, but found it no easy task to 
pick out a few horses from among one thousand others scattered 
for nearly two miles up the creek. After a laborious search, we 
got all but two that were stolen that morning. We spoke to the 
chief about the two horses they still had in their possession, but 
while they acknowledged they had them, they gave us no en- 
couragement that they would let us have them upon our arrival 


at Laramie, but would only let us have one of them now. The 
brethren presented the chief with three bushels of salt and we 
then returned to camp. Thus ended the exciting scenes and busi- 
ness of the day." 

In a subsequent effort to regain these stolen horses they were 
unsuccessful. It appears that the Indians did not fulfill their 
promise, but spirited the horses away where they could not be 

On the 2nd of October, Brother Woodruff and Luke Johnson 
started out in search of some buffalo meat. He writes of this as 
follows : "We started at day break, and the wolves, whose cries 
had rent the air during the night, were slinking away in all di- 
rections as we rode along, and the beautiful swans were floating 
upon the water, adding charm to the scene. Soon, a large herd 
of buffaloes was in sight. We left our horses and stole upon them 
as stealthily as we could. The picket guards were frightened 
several times, but we managed to reassure them. There is no 
well disciplined army of men more particular to have an old ex- 
perienced guard on a close look out than a herd of buffaloes." 
After an exciting hunt they succeeded in getting only one cow. 
On the 8th they had a beautiful view of a herd of elk, but did not 
succeed in procuring any. On the 17th they organized a hunting 
expedition and succeeded in killing two buffaloes, which supplied 
them with meat for a short time. 

On the 19th they were met by the police from Winter Quar- 
ters, who were led by Brother Hosea Stout. These brethren 
escorted the pioneer company back, .and they all arrived on the 
banks of the Missouri, October. 31st, 1847. A few days previous 
to Brother Woodruff's arrival, Sister Woodruff had given birth 
to a daughter. Mother and child were doing well, and all were 
cheerful and happy. 

The eventiful year of 1847 was now drawing to a close, and 
ere it became merged into eternity, one more great event had 
been catalogued in the great book of God's purpose for fulfillment. 
On December 5th in a council held at Elder Orson Hyde's, 
President Brigham Young was chosen and sustained by the 
counsel to be the President, Prophet, Seer, and Revelator to the 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with Heber C. 
Kimball and Willard Richards as his first and second counselors. 


Father John Smith, uncle to the Prophet Joseph, was chosen the 
following day to be the Presiding Patriarch of the Church. This 
action was ratified by the unanimous vote of the general confer- 
ence held in the Log Tabernacle, December 27th, 1847. About 
1,000 souls were assembled, and with one united vote sustained 
these brethren in the First Presidency, and in the Patriarchal 
office of the Church. 

The Apostles present at the council and the conference were 
Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyd'e, Orson Pratt, 
Willard Richards, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith, Amasa 
Lyman, and Ezra T. Benson. Of the event, President Woodruff 
wrote in his journal: 

"From President Young's teachings we learned that it was 
necessary to keep up a full organization of the Church, through 
all time, as far as could be, at least the First Presidency, Quorum 
of the Twelve, Seventies, and Patriarchs, over the whole Church. " 

The affairs of the Saints at Winter Quarters were prosperous, 
and prospects bright for the New Year. 



In Winter Quarters. — Battle of Nauvoo Commemorated. — Organiza- 
tion of Pottowatamie County. — Bids President Young and Saints 
Good-by. — Journey from Winter Quarters to Nauvoo. — From Nau- 
voo to Maine. — A Letter to His Wife. — Healing the Sick. — Discov- 
ery of Gold in California. 

During the first three months of the year 1848, Apostle 
Woodruff devoted himself to the usual routine of business inci- 
dent to frontier life. They were laying the foundations of a 
commonwealth and strengthening the religious organizations 
which were to play an important part in the social and religious 
life of the people. There were frequent meetings of the Twelve 
and the Presidency, and the future aspects of both the people and 
the country were under daily consideration. 

It was during the early part of this year that petitions were 
sent to the Iowa Legislature, one asking for a county on the 
Pottawatomie tract of land, and the other for a post-office. Elder 
Henry Miller was the bearer of these petitions. About the same 
time the question of a disposition of the Nauvoo Temple came up, 
owing to the recent arrival from that city of Almon Babbit, 
Hyrum Kimball, and John Snyder. President Young was firm 
in his view that the Temple there should not be sold. 

The battle of Nauvoo, which had been fought on September 
12th, 1846, was commemorated on this aniversary by those who 
had taken part in the engagement. They wore a red badge on 
the left arm, as they had done during the contest, to distinguish 
them from their enemies. The disparity in numbers between the 
Latter-day Saints and their enemies, — about 100 of the former and 
between eight and ten .hundred of the latter — was so great that 
the Saints felt that they had been the recipients of Divine favor, 
especially in view of the fact that only three of their number 
had been lost. 

About the middle of the same month, Orson Hyde returned 
from the East. News also came at the same time of the success 
which the missionary work in Wales was achieving, principally 


through the labors of Captain Dan Jones. While the opposition 
there was intense, the struggle redounded to the spread of the 
Gospel and the increase of Saints through baptism. 

March 1st was the 41st anniversary of Wilford Woodruff's 
life. A few days later, on the night of March 15th, he records a 
remarkable dream in which he passed in spirit through the air 
from state to state, escaped from his enemies and passed on to 
heaven. "I saw," he says, "J ose P n and Hyrum and many others 
of the Latter-day Saints who had died. The innumerable com- 
pany of souls which I saw seemed to be preparing for some grand* 
and important event which I could not understand. Many were 
engaged in making crowns for the Saints. They were all dressed 
in white robes, both male and female." 

About this time Wilford Woodruff recorded in his journal 
the death of John Quincy Adams, and made special mention of 
the death of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, men in whose 
life and attainments he had taken great interest. His life was 
not confined to the limits of his personal activity, as he took a 
deep interest in all that was going on throughout the world. 

On the 27th of March, the leaders of the Church met in 
council for the purpose of establishing a political organization of 
Pottawattamie County. The relations of the Church to political 
questions were carefully considered, and from the outset it was 
determined to keep separate the religious and political organi- 
zations of the new county which they were bringing into exist- 
ence. They were a religious body of men in whose minds relig- 
ious influences were dominant. It would have been the most 
natural thing, perhaps, in the world, for them to establish a politi- 
co-ecclesiastical government ; however, they recognized from the 
outset, the constitution of their country, respected the forms of 
civil government, and so separated it from their religious organi- 
zations that non-Mormons who should thereafter settle in their 
midst, might enjoy with perfect freedom their political rights, 
'lhis, however, did not mean as some non-Mormons thought it 
ought to mean, that they should be elected to office, and the fail- 
ure to recognize them became a source of disturbance. 

As the time for holding the annual conference for April 
approached, there appeared before the leaders several Pawnee 
crrefs asking in behalf of their people who were starving for food, 


for one hundred bushels of corn. The request was granted, the 
corn loaded upon the backs of the mules belonging to the Indians, 
who returned to their people with feelings of joy and appreci- 
ation. The spirit begotten by such an act 'of generosity opened 
the hearts of the Saints for the enjoyment of their conference, 
and fitted them more perfectly for the worship of God. President 
Young commented upon the organization of the Presidency which 
he said might have been effected the first conference after the 
Prophet's death, but it was not wisdom to do so. The authority 
and keys had been committed to the Twelve, and the Saints in fol- 
lowing Brigham Young and the Quorum of which he was presi- 
dent, fully demonstrated their spirit to discern. where the presiding 
authority of the Church was to be found. The interval between 
the death of the Prophet and the organization of the new Presi- * 
dency gave the Saints ample opportunity by experience to con- 
firm their belief in the leadership of President Young and his 
council. Before the conference closed, officers of the high priests 
and elder's quorum where chosen, also a high council for the 
Church in Pottawatamie County. 

Special attention was also given at that time to the condition 
of the poor, particularly to the families of the soldiers who had 
enlisted in the Mormon Battalion. A special committee was ap- 
pointed to locate the poor and provide for their wants. A call 
was made for teams and wagons, and a hearty response was 
given. After the conference, Philo Dibble exhibited his paint- 
ings of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and of 
Joseph's last address to the Nauvoo Legion. There are many 
of the present generation who will remember Elder Dibble's ef- 
forts to preserve and disseminate the early history of the Church 
by exhibitions of his art, which he gave for the benefit of the 
Saints for many years throughout the stakes of Zion. 

Soon after the close of conference three of the Battalion boys 
arrived from Salt Lake Valley, popularly know as ''The Valley," 
and gave encouraging reports from the Saints there. They 
brought with them letters to the families that remained in Winter 
Quarters. At, about this time an effort was made to move the 
bodies of the dead to a new cemetery which had been selected. 
The graves of many were so marked that they might be identi- 
fied in years to come. There, two of Wilford Woodruff's sons, 


Joseph and Ezra, were buried in a grave designated No. 34, and 
marked "J. E. W." 

While the spirit of gathering to their new found home in 
the tops of the mountains was uppermost in the minds of those 
at Winter Quarters, the leaders kept constantly before them their 
mission of carrying the message of the new revelation to the 
nations of the earth. Apostle Woodruff was preparing for a 
mission to the East, and Orson Pratt, to England. These men 
were specially fitted by nature and experience for missionary 
work, and their talents were fully recognized and made use of. 
At the same time President Young was making preparations for 
another journey across the plains to Salt Lake Valley. 

These were busy days at Winter Quarters. All were full 
of hope and grand expectations. On Sunday, April 14th, Presi- 
dent Young in an address prophesied that the Saints would never 
be driven from the Rocky Mountains, unless they were guilty 
of insurrection among themselves, and he had no fear of that. 
In the midst of preparations, a steam-boat arrived on the Mis- 
souri River at Winter Quarters loaded with groceries and gener- 
al provisions needed by the people. The same steam-boat afforded 
Orson Pratt an opportunity to embark on his mission to Eng- 
land. A few days later another steamer came with 150 Saints 
from England. These were accompanied by Elders Franklin D. 
and Samuel W. Richards on their return from the British mission. 

On' Friday the 26th day of May, 1848, President Young 
began his second journey to the Rocky Mountains. Elder Wood- 
ruff writes : "In company with Orson Hyde, E. T. Benson, and 
others, on the 22nd of June, I rode out to the Horn to meet Presi- 
dents Young and Kimball and the Camp of Israel. We found 
on our arrival that all had crossed, and that Loienzo Snow and 
Zera Pulsipher, captains of hundreds, had gone on, each with 
his hundred. There were about 600 wagons in all and they made 
a grand encampment — a beautiful sight, indeed. I spent a little 
time with President Young; went through the camp, and on the 
following day bade good-bye to the Saints and returned to Winter 
Quarters. ,, 

The efforts to provide the necessary equipments for this 
second exodus across the plains brought its hardship to those 
who remained. The latter were without sufficient means to meet 


their wants. President Richards was at this time sick and in" 
straightened circumstances, so that he was unable to accompany 
the Saints on their westward journey. 

Those who remained were naturally weakened in their ability 
to defend themselves by the departure of the strongest — those 
best able to endure the journey. * They naturally feared their 
wakened condition and the danger from Indians, to which they 
were subjected. On the 14th there was a bugle sound "To arms !" 
The report came that the Indians vvere coming upon the people. 
The alarm, however, was not justified, although the people were 
greatly disturbed in their feelings by such excitement. 

It was distinctly" the Indian's country in those days, and the 
Saints had no one but themselves to look to for protection. The 
forces of the United States government were then engaged in 
Mexico. It is interesting at this point to observe that where the 
city of Omaha now stands the Saints were once busily engaged 
cultivating the soil and providing means for their expected jour- 
ney westward, although Winter Quarters was a few miles north 
from the present site of Omaha. 

On June 21st, 1848, Elder Woodruff with his family, and 
several others, eleven in all, started upon his Eastern mission. 
They first went to Mt. Pisgah where they found a number of 
the Saints to whom they preached. There would naturally be 
some misgiving as to the faith and continuity of those who re- 
mained some distance in the rear of the Saints, those who were un- 
willing to follow the lead of President Young and the Twelve 
would naturally discourage the more timid ones. 

It was during this journey, and on the 5th of July, that 
Elder Woodruff records a miraculous escape by one of those 
spiritual impressions that frequently came across his life. He had 
tied his mules to an oak-wood tree beside which he was camping. 
His children were sleeping in the wagon, and he felt impressed to 
move from his camping-ground, so he moved his children into 
a house. Only a short time elapsed when a thunder-storm swept 
over the place in great fury. Of the circumstance he writes : "We 
had just retired when the storm reached us in great fury, and in a 
moment the large oak came thundering down to the ground with 
a terrific crash. Had I not moved my mules, it would probably 
have killed them. Had I not moved my carriage, it would have 


'been crushed to atoms, and we would have been killed, as the tree 
fell where my carriage stood. It just missed Brother Kingsley's 
wagon. I consider my impression an interposition of Providence 
to save our lives." 

On the 9th, they arrived at Nauvoo and went through the 
Temple from basement to steeple, and again gazed on the once 
beautiful, but now desolate city of Nauvoo. While at the city, 
in the home of Almon Babbit, Elder Woodruff met a man who 
had come from Michigan to hear the gospel, and to whom he 
preached for one hour and then led him down into the waters of 
the Mississippi. During the same day, in a house built by George 
A. Smith, and occupied by Elder John Snyder, he confirmed 
the man whom he had just baptized and ordained him an elder 
and sent him on his way rejoicing. 

Before leaving Nauvoo on his eastward journey, he sold his 
mules, carriage and harness and took steamer down the river 
to St. Louis. From this point Elder Woodruff boarded a steamer 
for La Salle, Illinois, and thence to Louisville, where he visited 
his brother-in-law and sister, Luther and Rhoda Scammon. 
Here death, for the fourth time, entered his family circle and 
called to the spirit world an infant of nine months. 

Here Elder Woodruff's industrious nature asserted itself, and 
he went into the wheat field pitching bundles ol grain. After 
leaving his kinsmen he continued his journey by wagon, rivers, 
lakes, and railways via Chicago and arrived in Boston on August 
12th, 1848. The journey, by the route which he had taken from 
Council Bluffs, covered a distance of 2,595 miles. He remained 
some time preaching the gospel at Boston and then continued his 
journey to Portland, Maine. From there he went to Scarboro 
where he met other relations. It was a happy reunion after a 
separation of eight years. 

The return of Apostle Woodruff to the East would naturally 
awaken within him the keenest satisfaction over the opportunity 
it afforded to meet, after years of strenuous life and marvelous ad- 
venture, old friends and kinsmen. To them, his affections first 
turned, and he told all the wonderful things which God had 
wrought in the gathering of the Saints to the Valleys of the 
Mountains. From Maine he returned to Boston, went on to 
New York, and a little later took up his labors in Philadelphia. 


It was here he called on Colonel Kane, a tried and true friend to 
the Mormon people in the hour of their sorrow. By Colonel Kane 
he was most cordially welcomed. 

To his wife who remained with her people in Maine, he 
wrote on October 18th, 1848, this very significant letter : "I have 
been much blessed by the spirit of God since I saw you. I have 
felt more of the presence and power of God in me than I ex- 
pected to enjoy on this Eastern mission. I have felt that someone 
has prayed for me much of late. I wonder if it was Phoebe! 
I know how often you pray for me, and I feel its power and prize 
it much. I have never felt such a desire to prove worthy of your 
confidence and trust, and shun every appearance of evil, keep out 
of the path of all temptation, and do right in all things. I have 
had much of the spirit of secret prayer, have poured out my soul 
in supplication to God with tears of joy, and at the same time 
the visions of my mind have been opened so that I saw clearly my 
duty to my God, to my wife, to my children, to the Saints, and 
to the world at large. I have also seen the awful and certain 
judgments of God, which like a gathering storm are ready to 
burst upon the whole Gentile world, especially this nation which 
has heard the sound of the gospel but rejected it, together with 
the testimony of the servants of God ; has stoned and killed the 
prophets ; has become drunk with the blood of martyrs and Saints ; 
and finally has driven the entire Church with the priesthood and 
keys of eternal life out of its midst into the wilderness and 
mountains of Israel." 

At New Haven, on the 21st, a remarkable case of healing oc- 
curred, of which Elder Woodruff writes as follows: "A sister 
Turtle was very low with yellow fever. Some of Job's comforters 
had called upon her and reproached her for being a Latter-day 
Saint, and had asked her why she did not get her elders to heal 
her. While under this strain and reproach she cried out, 'O, that 
the Lord would send Brother Woodruff here!' It was only a 
few moments before she received a note from me saying that I 
was coming to see her. When I came, we laid hands upon her and 
she was healed, and I returned home praising God. The follow- 
ing day, Sunday, Mr. Smith Turtle and his wife, who had been 
healed the day before, were present in our meeting. 

"On the 23rd of October, 1848, I ordained Jairus Sanford 


a high priest. He was nearly 86 years of age. He had been liber- 
al with his means and faithful in his duties. I left the aged patri- 
arch rejoicing in God and went on my way to Noith Haven." 

On the 25th of October, Elder Woodruff arrived in Boston by 
rail and found himself in the midst of a grand demonstration. 
The people were celebrating the inauguration of a new water 
system by which the water of the Long Pond was conveyed into 
the city of Boston. The procession covered a distance of seven 
miles, requiring two and a half hours to pass any given point. 
Of that ocasion Elder Woodruff writes: "At the close of the 
speeches the mayor arose and said: 'Fellow citizens, it is pro- 
posed that the water of Lake Cochitreate be admitted into the 
city of Boston. All those who favor it say, 'aye/ The response 
was in a voice of thunder. At a given signal a column of water 
8 feet in diameter shot up 80 feet in the air and fell into a great 
reservoir." In the evening there were fire-works and other il- 
luminations. This was considered at this time the grandest cele- 
bration ever witnessed in any American city. 

On the following day, October 26th, Elder Woodruff went 
to New Bedford with Brother Nathaniel Coray. It was there 
he read with feelings of deep sorrow the burning of the Nauvoo 
Temple by a mob. He then went to Maine where he had parted 
from his wife earlier in the year, and returned with her to Cam- 
bridgeport on the 17th of November. Here he took a house for 
his family, and finished the labors of the year in Boston and its 
vicinity. Here he compiled a brief account of the current events 
among the nations of the earth. He read history in the light 
of God's recent revelations, and out of it he extracted the signs 
of the times. 

The year had been a trying one to the Saints in Utah who 
were greatly distressed because of the cricket plague, from which, 
however, they were measurably relieved by the miraculous de- 
struction of these insects by the sea-gulls. 

Gold had been discovered in California by members of the 
Mormon Battalion, and by others, a circumstance which created 
a feverish excitement throughout the Eastern States. The rash 
to California again brought the Saints in Utah into conspicu- 
ous relations with the outside world. That meant financial relief 
to the people in Salt Lake City. 


In his journal he records the fact that Captain Dan Jones 
by his labors in Wales was adding to the Church many persons 
each month. Elder Orson Spencer gave very encouraging ac- 
counts of the work throughout the British Isles. 

It was at this time that Almon Babbit called upon Elder 
Woodruff and sought to induce him to go to Washington for the 
purpose of accomplishing certain things which he said would be 
favorable to the Latter-day Saints. "After hearing him, I con- 
cluded that he was working on his own account and without the 
counsel of the President of the Church. I therefore concluded 
that my health, calling, and the spirit within me would not permit 
me to leave the mission upon which I was sent, to go to Washing- 
ton." SuDequent events proved the correctness of his impressions. 

Concerning the events of the year he remarks: "At home 
new towns were laid out, both to the north and south of Salt 
Lake City. Elders were arriving from the Sandwich Islands. 
Walker, the Indian chief, visited the Saints in the Valley and 
expressed friendship for them and his antipathy toward the 
Spanish. Brothers Brown, Browett, Allen, and Cox were killed 
by the Indians in the California mountains, while they were 
exploring the country. These brethren I baptized in Hereford- 
shire soon alter I commenced preaching at John Benbow's. Broth- 
er Browett had been an especially earnest, true Latter-day Saint, 
and I know nothing to the contrary of the others. They went 
into the army as soldiers in the Mormon Battalion and died in 
the cause of their country." 



Letter to Orson Pratt. — Baptism of His Father-in-law, Ezra Carter. — 
Labors in New England. — Meets Dr. John M. Bernhisel. — Healing 
the Sick. — Interview with Col. Kane. — Hears Indian Chief. — Release 
from His Mission. — Return to the Valleys. — Conditions at the 
Frontier. — Stampede on the Plains. — Brigham Young Appointed 
Governor. — Salt Lake Temple Planned. — Salt Lake City Given a 
Charter. — Visit to the Southern Settlements. — Fourth Celebrated 
at Black Rock. — Celebrating of Twenty-fourth. — Death of His Step- 
mother. — Judge Brocchus Speaks in Conference. — Beautiful Words 
of Patriarch John Smith. — A Vote To Discontinue Use of Tea and 

The beginning of the year 1849 found Wilford Woodruff 
actively at work in the spread of the gospel. It was a glorious 
message which he was bearing to the people of the East, and he 
gave to it all the ardor of his intensely religious nature. Nor 
was he less concerned about the integrity and devotion of his wife 
to the faith they had espoused. His family was carefully in- 
structed in the duties and sacraments of the Church. On the 
15th of the month he wrote a lengthy letter to President Young 
and Council in which he reported his travels and labors. He 
prepared a historical sketch for the historian's office, and wrote 
to Orson Pratt, who was presiding over the British mission, as 
follows: "I am 42 years old today, March the 1st, 1849. How 
peculiar such figures look to a man while counting up his years 
in this probation. The very sight of them crowds on to his mind 
a flood of thoughts more than tongue can utter or pen describe. 
The last sixteen years of my life have been passed endeavoring 
to preach the gospel and build up the Kingdom of God in asso- 
ciation with my brethren. The past is gone, I have no desire to 
recall it. I would not wish to live my life over again if I could. 
I feel like looking forward and not backward. 

"While the Jews were high-minded and in the height of their 
power, the Son of God, in lamb-like meekness, bowed to the ordi- 
nance of baptism and all other rites of the gospel and command- 
ments of His Father. He was looking forward to a time when He 


should make His second visit to His brethren after having over- 
come death and the grave. At the present day, while emperors, 
princes, kings, lords, nobles, and great men of the world have 
been making a wonderful effort to maintain their dignity, and ap- 
pear to good advantage before the world, many of the noblest 
spirits that ever dwelt in the flesh, like Jesus and the Apostles, 
have been meekly submitting to the ordinances of the gospel, and 
like little children have submitted to the authority of the holy 

During the month of March Elder Woodruff visited Cape 
Cod, preaching to the Saints and strangers, the latter including 
sea-captains, sailors, and fishermen. There he also organized 
a branch of the Church with 21 members. Upon his return home 
to Cambridgeport, he found his father-in-law, Ezra Carter Sr., 
awaiting him. ' On the 22nd of March Father Carter was bap- 
tized, his wife having received the gospel before this. Elder 
Woodruff records these events as the fulfillment of prophecy by 
Father Jos. Smith, the patriarch, who, in blessing him and his 
wife years before, promised that their household should receive the 
gospel and stand with them in the Church. Elder Carter lived to 
be 96 years of age. His old home, in a beautiful rural district 
of southern Maine, still stands. It is near the roadside as you go 
from Saco to Portland. 

On the 12th of April he started a company of Saints for 
Zion. There were 71 all told, 50 of whom were from Philadelphia. 
From Philadelphia he visited Saints in the neighboring towns. At 
Hornerstown he baptized three members of the Woolf family. 
They had been believers for a number of years,. having been vis- 
ited by the Prophet and a number of the Twelve. Leaving Penn- 
sylvania he traveled through New Jersey to New York where he 
met T. D. Brown, just returning from England. From New 
York he went on to Cambridgeport to his family. 

After journalizing the calamities occurring in St. Louis, New 
Orleans, California, and other parts of the world, Elder Woodruff 
started on a visit to Fox Islands where he had introduced the 
gospel twelve years before, having baptized nearly one hundred 
people. He passed many weeks on the Islands but with much 
less success than upon the first mission there. From here he 
went to New Brunswick, Canada, performing a large part of the 



journey on foot. One day he walked 35 miles, carrying a heavy 
load part of the distance. 

Arriving at the ferry of Beauburs Island, he crossed in a boat 
and walked a mile through a pleasant grove to the home of Elder 
Joseph Russell, who for eleven years had been the owner of the 
entire island, which is a mile and a half in length, by a half a mile 
in width. Elder Russell was a ship-builder and had constructed 
23 ships with a tonnage of 650 tons each. He was a man of con- 
siderable wealth, worth at that time, at a low estimate, $30,000 
He was liberal with his means and faithful in the discharge of his 
duties to the Church. At that place there was a small branch of 
the Church over which he presided. 

On the_28th he went with Elder Russell and son to Bedque. 
While here he received word that Charles C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, 
and Franklin D. Richards had been chosen members of the Twelve 

On the 5th of August, Elder Woodruff set out upon his re- 
turn to Cambridgeport, Elder Russell having first contributed 
$1,500 with which to aid the Church in its newly chosen home. 
He remained but a short time at home, when he started for Fall 
River and New Bedford to visit the Saints in those places. On his 
return from his trip to the South, he met at Cambridgeport, Dr. 
John M. Bernhisel, who, after giving an account of affairs in the 
Valleys, informed Elder Woodruff that he had come to Washing- 
ton as our representative, bearing a petition for a Territorial Gov- 

Under date of July 25th, 1849, the President of the Church 
wrote Brother Woodruff a statement of conditions of the Church 
in the Valleys and expressed their desire to be admitted into the 
Union as a sovereign state. In that letter the President re- 
marked: "The neptt time that you encounter the hardships, pri- 
vations, and toil over the plains and mountains, you will meet with 
a very different reception from that which you did on your first 
arrival here. Friends will greet you, the products of the earth 
will be administered for your comfort. We shall be very happy to 
see you again." 

During the remainder of the year 1849, Elder Woodruff 
visited the eastern branches, preaching the gospel and comforting 
all who would listen. In Cape Cod an aged lady of 84 years was 


instantly healed by his administrations. She immediately arose 
from her bed of sickness and went about her work. 

He again went to Philadelphia where he had several visits 
with Colonel Kane with whom he talked over the situation relative 
to a Territorial Government. The following he quotes as the 
words of Col. Kane : "I applied, acording to the wish of Presi- 
dent Young for a Territorial Government, and had my last, sad, 
and painful interview with President Polk. I found he was not 
disposed to favor your people, and had men of his own stamp 
picked out to serve as governor and in other positions, many of 
whom would oppress you in any way simply to fill their own pock- 
ets. President Polk was unwilling to appoint men among your- 
selves, and I saw it was absolutely necessary to have officers of 
your own people to govern you, otherwise you would be better off 
without any government at all. It was necessary for me to use 
my discretion and I therefore withdrew the petition." 

On December 3rd, he paid a visit to Gerard College of Phila- 
delphia. On the 15th of the month he attended a meeting there 
where a Mr. Koh-Ge-Ga-Gah-Bow, chief of the Ozebwa na- 
tion, delivered a lengthy and spirited address in behalf of the 
American Indians, in which he appealed to the citizens to induce 
the government to give the Indians a territory they could call their 
own, and to forbid the encroachment thereon of the whites. He 
censured the white men in no uncertain terms for their pretended 
Christianity and religious prpfessions, while in reality they were 
filled with deceit, hypocrisy, and wickedness. 

The year 1850 witnessed a change in the character of Elder 
Woodruff's labors. Missionary work was in harmony, not only 
with his spiritual nature, but with the grand conceptions which 
he entertained for the future of the Church with which he had as- 
sociated himself. Upon his return from Cambridgeport, he re- 
ceived a letter irom the Presidency in which he was required to 
return to the Valley, and to bring with him all the Saints he 
could gather, and such means as could be collected from their 
properties and from contributions in the East. The Saints in 
the Valleys of the Mountains were so far removed from manu- 
facturing centers that they felt the necessity of home manufacture, 
especially in the establishment of woolen £nd cotton factories in 
o-der that they might be self-supporting. The New England states' 


where Elders Woodruff's labors had been directed contained many 
factories, and it was the operatives from these factories whose 
services would be needed in the new enterprises at home. 

On the 2nd of March, he went to Maine where arrangements 
were made to gather with him to the Valleys of the Mountains 
his wife's people. His wife's brother, Ilus F. Carter, had bought 
ten wagon loads of merchandise which was sent with Elder 
Woodruff. Mr. Carter, however, returned from the Missouri 
River to his home in Maine on account of ill health. A number 
of the brethren had engaged in gold-mining in California and 
sent money to their friends in the East to assist them in their 
emigration. The manufactured products of the East were greatly 
needed by the Saints in the Valleys, and the money sent from 
California became very helpful in providing a stock of goods that 
would contribute to the comfort of the earlier settlers whose supply 
of clothing by this time was almost entirely depleted. 

On the 23rd of March, Elder Orson Pratt arrived from Eng- 
land on business, intending to return before going to the Valleys. 
He found Elder Woodruff busily occupied in the purchase of such 
merchandise as would be most helpful to those who had gathered. 
About the same time, Elder John Taylor and Curtis E. Bolton 
were on their way to France ; Lorenzo Snow and Joseph Toronto 
to Italy ; Erastus Snow and Peter Hanson to Denmark ; Franklin 
D. Richards and several others to England. Elder Erastus Snow 
sailed from Boston to his field of labor on April 3rd. 

By the 9th of the month, Wilford Woodruff with his family 
and relatives, and with about 100 other Saints left for New York 
where they were joined by another 100, making all told 209 peo- 
ple. Their baggage amounted to 42,000 lbs. On their way to 
Pittsburg, they passed through Philadelphia. At the former place 
they secured passage to St. Louis where they arrived on the 1st 
day of May. From St. Louis to Cuncil Bluffs they took pas- 
sage on the steamer, Sacramento. They left St. Joseph on the 12th 
of May and Ft. Kearney on the 15th, and the following day Elder 
Woodruff went to Kanesville to visit Elder Orson Hyde. On 
this journey they were accompanied by Elder Orson Pratt. 

This frontier town was a busy place in those days. The Saints 
were constantly coming and going, and the people were generally 
in a state of excitement, and the very nature of the circumstances 


gave rise to some discontent. The well-to-do hurried on to the 
Valleys, and the poor were left to make such arrangements as they 
could for present support and their future emigration to the Zion 
of their God. Provision, of course, for the emigration of the 
poor was made wherever possible, but yet their numbers were so 
great as to bring distress to the people of Kanesville. Presi- 
dent Woodruff expalined that he had received counsel from 
the Presidency to stretch out his arms and gather all he possibly 
could to Zion. He had baptized, while on this mission, about 200 
people. Every effort was made to pacify those who were dis- 
contented in this frontier town. The fact, however, that the auth- 
orities had instructed him to gather all he could was the guiding 
motive in bringing with him to Kanesville the poor, as well as 
those who were in fairly good circumstances. 

Elder Woodruff, when counsel came to him, never quibbled, 
never doubted, never stopped to ask his file-leaders the whys and 
the wherefores. He was like Adam when the angel said to him : 
"Adam, why dost thou offer sacrifice ?" And he answered, "I 
know not save that God has commanded me." He was also 
like Nephi of old who uttered the memorable saying: "For I 
know that the Lord giveth no command unto the children of 
men save that He shall prepare the way for them to accomplish 
the thing which He commandeth them." 

On the 21st of May the company starting to Zion was or- 
ganized into hundreds, fifties, and tens with a captain over each. 
Robert Petty, Leonard W. Hardy, Edson Whipple, Joseph Hall, 
James Currier, Miner Atwood, and two others whose names are 
not given, were appointed captains. Some of the teamsters of this 
company did not belong to the Church, and in time became unruly. 
The ring-leader, however, was discharged, and later the others also. 
On the 9th of July, Lucy Johnson, Matilda Hardy, a Sister Snow, 
and Emily Huntington died. Deaths this year, 1850, on the 
plains were frequent and Elder Woodruff's company suffered 
with others. On the day following, Elder Woodruff baptized four- 
teen in the Platte River, among them his wife's niece, Sarah E. 
Foss. On the 15th, a few days later, a severe thunder storm arose 
and Brother Ridge, from Staffordshire, England, and his oxen 
were killed by lightning. 

The 30th of the month witnessed one of those scenes not 


uncommon to the plains in the early days of emigration by ox 
teams. Those who have not witnessed a stampede can hardly 
imagine the scenes of confusion and dangers to, which it gives 
rise. There were often thirty or forty teams close together. These 
teams consisted of from two to five yoke of oxen. The wagons 
they drew were loaded with women, children, and merchandise. 
The stampede generally took place without a moment's warning 
and the cattle ran in all directions. 

Writing of this scene Elder Woodruff says : "Our stampede 
commenced in the following manner. While my son Wilford 
was mounting his horse, William Murphy struck the horse with 
a whip which started him to run. Wilford was thrown over 
the horse's head to the ground. The saddle turned under the 
horse and as a result he ran away. As he approached one of 
the wagons, a Mr. Cannon's team became frantic and started off 
at a great speed. In a moment twenty or thirty teams followed 
the first that stampeded and the whole company was rushing 
apparently onward into the jaws of death. On my. carriage was 
a fine black steed, and in it were Rhoda Foss and Susan Woodruff. 
We were at the head of the company, and when the stampede 
commenced, I was by the side of my carriage. I saw Mrs. Wood- 
ruff rush into the midst of the scene with many other women 
and children. Their lives were in constant danger. I told Rhoda 
to let my horse run into the bluffs, and do the best she could. I 
gave him a cut to start him on to a run and left them to the 
care of Providence. I then rushed into the midst of the stampede 
in order to save the lives of my wife and as many others as pos- 
sible, but I had hard work to save even my own life. Mrs. Wood- 
ruff soon found an opening and fled out of the midst of the scene. 
Brother Petty's wagons were turned over. My family wagon with 
four yoke of oxen ran over one of his wagons, and a wagon ran 
over one of his children. Prescott Hardy was knocked down by 
his own team and badly injured in the thigh and arm. Wher- 
ever I saw women and children in danger, I did what I could 
to rescue them. However, only little can be done at such times, 
and each one must dodge the best he can to save his life if pos- 

"When I found I could do no more, I ran forward to see 
what condition my family carriage and wagon were in. I found 


my noble horse still running, but on three legs. One of the ox- 
teams had run on to the horse and carriage, bent one of the axles 
and smashed one of the horse's legs. Rhoda was thrown out of 
the carriage and Susan was lying upon her back with her feet 
hanging out between the wheels. She held on, however, till I 
came and rescued my daughter. Later I had to shoot my horse 
to put him out of his misery. It was very painful to have to do 
so. It was a miracle that no one was killed, and there was really 
but little damage done to oxen and wagons." 

Barring some break-downs and delays, the company arrived 
in Salt Lake City, October 14, 1850. Soon after their arrival, 
Elder Woodruff moved from the old Fort into his house near 
Temple Block. He was also occupied in disposing of ten loads 
of merchandise sent out to the Valley by his brother-in-law, Ilus 
F. Carter. In the Council he read to the brethren the speech of 
Mr. Copway (Koh-Ge-Ga-Gah-Bow), the Indian chief, and 
the views of Col. Kane on the government of Deseret. 

Wilford Woodruff's work at this time as a missionary had 
given him distinction and he was frequently regarded by his breth- 
ren as the "Herald of the Gospel." The following winter two 
vacancies occurred in the legislature by the death of Newell K. 
Whitney and Cornelius P. Lott. Governor Young appointed 
Elders Woodruff and Charles C. Rich to fill these vacancies, and 
thus began the experiences of Elder Woodruff as a legislator. 

The new year, 1851, witnessed the dedication of a new school 
house in the Fourteenth Ward of Salt Lake City — the ward in which 
Elder Woodruff first located and where he built his home on what 
was subsequently known as the old Valley House corner. The 
people were poor in those days, but they nevertheless did all that 
a community could under similar circumstances to promote edu- 
cation. They needed both schoolhouses and meeting-houses, 
but their condition generally compelled them to make one build- 
ing answer a double purpose. 

The country to which the Saints had come was a wilderness, 
and the surroundings of the people were such that it was not al- 
ways easy to keep men and women under proper restraint, espe- 
cially young men who in a wild country naturally were prone to be 
uncouth and sometimes profane in their language. The Puritan 
spirit of the early prioneers was so intense that an effort was made 


to check evils in their incipiency and to wage a crusade against 
them as fast as they made their appearance. Profanity was one 
of the evils that could not be endured. The Authorities on the 
12th of January, in a congregation of the Saints, called attention 
to the use of such language, and the whole congregation voted to 
"put down swearing" throughout the City and the Territory. Into 
the reform movement, Elder Woodruff threw all his energies and 
preached with all the ardor of his soul against the improper use 
of words that profaned the name of Deity. 

The time nad come to erect another temple for the holy ordi- 
nances that are peculiar and confined to that sacred structure. The 
work should be begun as far as possible with the absence of every 
semblance of evil ; and on January 19, President Young announced 
to the congregation assembled that the time had arrived for the 
erection of a temple. Truman O. Angel was appointed architect, 
and during the day plans for the new Temple were submitted for 
inspection in the Seventies' Hall. That building now stands on 
State street in a good state of preservation. 

On the 28th, news of the appointment of President Young 
to be the first governor of Utah reached the people. This ap- 
pointment gave universal satisfaction. When the news came, 
President Young was about fifteen miles north of the city. The 
leaders and a band went out to meet him ; and upon his arrival in 
the city, he was welcomed by a salute of ten guns. 

About this time, on February 2nd, a pretender arose who 
styled himself Elijah, and a Mr. Bateman spoke for about 9 minutes 
in his behalf. The new Elijah, however, received no encourage- 

It was about the same time also that there began those reg- 
ular weekly meetings of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles which 
have continued to the present time. The object was to keep the 
Twelve in harmony with one another, that each might know what 
the other was doing, that there might be uniformity, and that they 
might be actuated by a spirit of unity. 

Early in February of that year, the legislature granted a 
charter to the community that was to be known as a municipal or- 
ganization under the name of Salt Lake City. Concerning the 
charter President Woodruff writes that President Young said: 
"We do not want the Church to pass laws to punish crime, but 


to try members only on questions of Church fellowship. If the 
members transgress the laws of the land, turn them over to the 
authorities of the land. We want to protect the Church also in its 
rites of worship and protect every other sect that comes here. When 
the kingdoms of this world become the Kingdoms of our Lord and 
Savior Jesus Christ, will their people all be members of the Church 
of Jesus Christ by obeying the Gospel? No, not one-eighth part 
of them. No more than a telestial kingdom is a celestial one, 
and they stand in about the same relation to each other." 

Elder Woodruff, on the 23rd of April, in company with a 

party of about forty men with twenty wagons entered Utah Val- 
ley. This was his first visit to the settlements there. He met the 
Indian chief Walker. He thought him rather an ugly looking spec- 
imen for an Indian chief. Later on the company reached Sanpete 
valley. Here there were about one hundred families located. These 
families were engaged in farming. They had erected a schoolhouse 
and had commenced a council house. 

Passing on from Sanpete, the company went through Sevier 
Valley to Marysvale and on to Cedar City. "We passed over the 
worst road the last few days that I ever knew. We had to draw 
our wagons up and let them down with ropes in places where 
the roads were so bad, and at places the slant was so great that 
we had to hold our wagons up to keep them from turning over." 
In the valley near Cedar City the company was met by Presi- 
dent George A. Smith who at that time had charge of the south- 
ern settlements. The settlers had been there only three months. 
They had enclosed a fort of 19 acres, plowed and sown 1,000 acres 
with wheat, had fenced 600 acres, built a sawmill, and erected 
the first story of their council house. The little community wel- 
comed President Young and party by the firing of a cannon and 
by waving the stars and stripes. This small settlement of pi- 
oneers had about one hundred men. 

The discovery of coal and iron ore in the vicinity of Cedar 
City awakened in the Latter-day Saints a special desire to establish 
iron foundries. Men had been called to this work as a mission. 
Among the one hundred, there were perhaps thirty who were 
di contented. Part of them desired to return to Salt Lake City 
to get their families, and others to abandon the mission at Cedar 


entirely. Apostle Woodruff records the following words of Presi- 
dent Young to these men: "If you were now on a mission to 
France or England or to any other part of the earth, you would 
not sit down and counsel together about going to get your fam- 
ilies, or about going home till your mission was ended. This is 
of quite as much importance as preaching the Gospel. The time 
is now come when it is required of us to make the wilderness 
blossom as the rose. Our mission is now to build up stakes of 
Zion and fill these mountains with cities, and when your mission 
is ended you are at liberty to go. Only do what is right. When 
1 go on a mission, I leave my affairs in the hand of God. If 
my house, flocks, or fields are lost in my absence; if my wife or 
children die, I say, Amen, to it. If they live, I say, Amen, to that 
and thank the Lord." The words of President Young removed 
much of the discontent and most of them remained to fill their 
mission in- honor. 

In speaking at this time of the Indians in that section the 
President said: "These Indians are the descendants of the 
Gadianton robbers who infested these mountains for more than a 
thousand years." At the conclusion of this visit, the party re- 
turned to Salt Lake City which they reached on the 24th of May, 

Elder Woodruff's journal contains many of the discourses 
preached by President Young in those days on subjects of prac- 
tice 1 religion, home industry, prayer, financial integrity, farming, 
tithing, and kindred subjects. His talks contained just such sub- 
ject matter as one would expect to hear from a leader whose mis- 
sion it was to make the desert blossom as the rose. Elder Wood- 
ruff, here and there, used stenographic characters in making notes 
in his journal. He was not a stenographer, however, but he was 
so accustomed to writing the sermons in long hand that his mem- 
ory was trained for the work, and a large measure of accuracy 
was given to these journalistic efforts. 

To this work he had been called by President Young soon 
after the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum. The day would 
come when the details of that earlyjiistory would be in great de- 
mand among those who would love to know the beginning of 
the work of God in this dispensation. "Some day," said Presi- 


dent Young, "I shall look to you for my journal." This work 
was so carefully done, and the devotion of Elder Woodruff was 
so great towards his brethren that one is impressed by the splen- 
did fidelity with which he honored the call. 

On the Fourth of July of 1851 the Saints joined in a cele- 
bration at Black Rock on Salt Lake. "The procession was led 
by the general authorities with the Nauvoo Legion as an escort. 
It consisted of 140 wagons which reached Black Rock at 2 o'clock 
in the afternoon. Patriotic speeches were made, and after the 
meeting, social pastimes were indulged in, and many enjoyed a 
bath in the lake. It was as pleasant a Fourth of July as I ever 
spent, and my family was with me. Next day we returned to 
Salt Lake City." 

Those were happy days. The simplicity of their faith, the 
candor of their words, and the friendship of their lives produced a 
remarkable unity which in itself was both inspiring and joyful. 

The Twenty-fourth of July was honored by a celebration. 
There was music by the Nauvoo brass band. The citizens came 
out in great numbers. There was a procession at the head of 
which the aged fathers and mothers were placed — men and women 
whose frames were shaped by the hardships and struggles of those 
early days. The* procession ended at the bowery where there were 
speeches, instrumental music and singing. "The songs of Zion 
were sung not in a strange land, nor were our harps hung upon 
the willows. The shades of evening came over the city and 
there had been no accident to mar the proceedings of that hal- 
lowed day. There were no curses, no drinking, no rabble, no 
strife to mar the occasion." There was, perhaps, a little Church 
mixed up with the State in those days. Men had conceived the 
idea that God should be honored as much in the administration of 
civil as of religious affairs. 

The harvest season followed the Twenty-fourth and Elder 
Woodruff was as enthusiastic and energetic on the farm as he 
was in a celebration or as he was in preaching the Gospel abroad. 
He was a model of industry. His little twenty-acre farm just 
south of the city was under a high state of cultivation. With a 
cradle in his hands, he went to the work of the harvest with 
singular pleasure. His restless nature often carried him beyond 


his strength, but he loved to work. He always worked, and with 
him one kind of work was as honorable as another; for God 
honored honest toil. 

At his home on the farm, there lived with him his aged father. 
The stepmother had remained with her daughter in Iowa. About 
this time, he received word that she had died on the 20th of March 
and that his brother Azmon's wife had also died on the 3rd of 
January of that year. His brother also wrote him relating the 
sorrow and trouble he had encountered ever since he had left the 
Church. His letter bore evidence of humiliation and repentance, 
much to the joy of his faithful brother Wilford. 

On the 7th of September, there was a general conference of 
the Church. After addressing the Saints upon practical affairs 
and the daily duties of life, President Young said: "No better 
man than Joseph Smith ever lived on this earth. Hear it, O, 
ye heavens, O, ye earth, and all men! It is my testimony that 
he was as good a man as ever lived, save Jesus." In harmony 
with these words, Willard 'Richards related his testimony to 
the mob in Carthage at the time of the Prophet's death to the effect 
that they were Prophets of God, and two of the best men that 
ever lived on earth. 

During this conference, Judge Brocchus of .the United States 
court in Utah, requested the privilege of speaking. The request 
was granted and he proceeded to cast unsavory reflections upon 
the character of the Saints. This President Young resented in 
strong terms, in the course of his remarks, the Prophet said 
to those who were going on missions: "Don't go and tell the 
people of different denominations that because their sins are not 
forgiven that they are always going to dwell in hell ; for if they 
are honest, they will have a glory greater than many who carry 
the gospel to them. There are good people among all sects, 
Gentiles, Jews, and heathens. They act according to the best 
light they have. What is the condition of the people of this 
country? Light has come into the world, and many men love 
darkness rather than light. They reject that light, fight the 
prophets, and shed their blood. For this they will be damned." 

At this conference N. H. Felt and John Banks were appointed 
traveling bishops. E. T. Benson, J. M. Grant, and Orson Hyde 
were called on a mission to Kanesville to gather out all the Saints 


in that region. Elder Woodruff here records the remarks made 
by Patriarch John Smith, uncle of the Prophet, and father to 
President George A. Smith. He had been a member of the Church 
since 1832. "I was ordained an elder under the hands of Joseph 
Wakefield. The Smith family was called to bring forth this work. 
My team hauled the first load of stone for the erection of the 
Kirtland Temple. My son George A., drove that team. There 
were four brothers of us on the stand at Kirtland. I am now 
left alone. I was in jail with my nephews, Joseph and Hyrum, 
the night before they were killed. Next day three guns were 
snapped at me. I could not weep for a long time ; when I could, 
I wept much. I have labored much from that day till this. Now 
pay your tithing, make your measures good when you sell any- 
thing, and fulfill all your covenants if they are properly made. 
Then we shall prosper in this Valley. I am an old man and can- 
not say much." 

When the pioneers returned to Winter Quarters from Salt 
Lake Valley, father John Smith was left in charge of the Church 
here. He was a man of the utmost honor and of sterling integ- 
rity both to God and man. Three generations of this man have 
been apostles in the Church. 

It was at this conference that all the brethren and sisters 
voted to discontinue the use of tea, coffee, and tobacco. It was 
then adjourned until October 6th. 


THE YEARS, 1852, '53, '54. 

Discourse of Brigham Young on Sin. — The Descendants of Cain. — 
Edward Hunter Chosen Presiding Bishop. — Parowan Stake Organ- 
ized. — David Patten. — Talk on Dancing. — Death of Willard Rich- 
ards. — Jedediah M. Grant Chosen Counselor to Brigham Young. 
— Journey South. — Walker, the Indian Chief. — John Smith, Son 
of Hyrum Smith, Called To Be the Head Patriarch of the Church. 
— Visit North. — Legislature. — Philosophical Society. 

The beginning of the year 1852 found Elder Woodruff active- 
ly engaged in the legislative business of the new Territory. There 
was much to be done. The foundation of a new commonwealth 
was being laid, and the principles of civil government were em- 
phasized and kept separate from the religious organization. About 
three years and a half had elapsed since the pioneers entered Salt 
Lake Valley. In 1852 the census showed that there were all told 
in Utah, 11,354 souls. Counties were established with proper 
organizations, and judges appointed for the administration of 
laws therein. 

Elder Woodruff kept in his journals the civil and religious 
movements of those early days. Extracts from prominent sermons 
were written, especially those delivered by President Young. The 
following is a partial extract of a discourse by him on the subject 
of Sin. "If you sin against God, go to Him for forgiveness, 
if that sin is not unto death. There is a sin unto death which 
we are told we need not pray to have forgiven. If you sin 
against your brother, go to him for forgiveness. Ask forgiveness 
at the hands of the innocent. If you sin against your family, your 
parents, your husband, your wife, or your children, seek forgive- 
ness at their hands ; for what is done in secret, He will forgive in 
secret. In seeking forgiveness for sins that are secret, go no 
farther than is necessary to be forgiven of God. But where sins 
are committed openly, forgiveness should be sought openly." 

The Saints had not forgotten the troubles which their short- 
comings and neglect of the things of God had brought upon them 
in days gone by. The leaders understood very well the necessity 

THE YEARS 1852, '53, '54. 351 

of avoiding the troubles of the past by keeping themselves in har- 
mony with God's will. They knew that sin meant trouble not only 
for the individual but for the Church. The authorities felt that 
if the people could be kept from sin there would be love and union 
and prosperity in the new homes which they were establishing in 
the Rocky Mountains. 

The attitude of the Saints on the question of slavery had 
been a source of trouble to them in Missouri. There was naturally 
throughout the United States some interest in the position which 
the new Territory should take upon that question. In those days 
the influence of the South was predominant, and the pro-slavery 
party was asserting itself wherever possible. The lines were 
drawn more distinctly between the pro and anti-slavery communi- 
ties. In those days men might have regarded it as good policy 
to keep friends with the South and the democratic party. To 
be pronounced for or against slavery was sure to invite the op- 
position of the North or of the South. 

President Young felt it, however, to be his duty to make 
plain the attitude of the Mormon people in Utah on the subject. 
In an address to the legislature he said: "The Lord said I will 
not kill Cain, but I will put a mark upon him, and that mark w T ill 
be seen upon the face of every negro upon the face of the earth ; 
and it is the decree of God that that mark shall remain upon 
the seed of Cain until the seed of Abel shall be redeemed, and 
Cain shall not receive the priesthood, until the time of that re- 
demption. Any man having one drop of the seed of Cain in him 
cannot receive the priesthood ; but the day will come when all that 
race will be redeemed and possess all the blessings which we now 
have. I am opposed to the present system of slavery." 

Elder Woodruff writes extensively in his journal of the teach- 
ings of the President. In one of his discourses the Prophet 
declares that God has passed through all the trials and experiences 
that we have, and the Savior likewise. On another occasion, he 
speaks of the responsibilities of parents; the desirability of a 
prayerful spirit that they may not only receive the noble spirits 
from the spirit world, but that they may enjoy the influence of the 
Holy Ghost which should be the inheritance of every child born 
into the world. 

From a report of the tithing in those days it also appears 


that from October 1848 to April 1852, there was paid in, $353,- 
755.69, a creditable showing when the hardships of those times 
and the limited numbers of Saints are taken into consideration. 

It was at this conference, April 1852, that Edward Hunter 
was chosen and set apart as the Presiding Bishop of the Church. 
Many people will remember the quaint words and sayings of Ed- 
ward Hunter. When asked to select his counselors, on that occa- 
sion, he arose and said: "I select for my counselors Brigham 
Young and Heber C. Kimball." 

On the 23rd of April, 1852, Wilford Woodruff accompanied 
the First Presidency on a tour through the southern settlements 
as far south as Cedar City, which they had visited once before. 
On this trip they organized the Iron Company for the purpose of 
developing the iron deposits of that region. The rodometer showed 
the distance from Salt Lake to Cedar via Sanpete Valley to be 
314^4 miles. It was on this visit that the Parowan Stake was 
organized, with John L. Smith as president, John Steele as first, 
and Henry Lunt as second counselor. 

On the 28th of August, 1852, a special conference was 
held and about one hundred missionaries were called to Europe 
and other parts of the world. The following October witnessed 
the call of still other missionaries. In speaking of their bless- 
ings President Woodruff said: "The spirit and power of God 
rested upon us in a great degree. The heavens were opened, and 
our minds were filled with visions, revelations, and prophecy, 
while we sealed great blessings upon the heads of the elders and 
foretold what would befall them by sea and by land; that they 
would do a great work and gather many Saints and much wealth 
to Zion. ,, 

Before the close of the year, there were special meetings of 
the Council of the Twelve in which the importance of keeping 
a history of the Twelve was emphasized, and Elder Woodruff 
was at that time appointed to write a history of his Quorum. 
Speaking of the Twelve at this time he says: "There has not 
been a death in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles except that of 
David Patten, who fell a martyr to his religion, according to the 
special request he made of the Lord that he might die that death. 
I lament the fact that David Patten did not leave a record of his 
life, for he was a true prophet, an apostle, and a fine man. Many 

THE YEARS 1852, '53, '54. 353 

miracles were wrought by him. He once told a rich man in Ten- 
nessee who fought the work of God, that he and his family would 
yet beg for their bread. Robert C. Petty saw that same man cry 
at a blacksmith shop because the blacksmith would not sharpen 
his plough on credit." 

Speaking upon the principle of writing a history he said that 
since he had been a member of the Church he had been inspired 
to write not only of his own acts and life but to write the ser- 
mons, teachings, and prophecies of the Prophet Joseph, President 
Young, and Council of the Twelve Apostles as far as he was ac- 
quainted with their labors. 

When the new year of 1853 opened Wilford Woodruff gave 
expression to those noble inspirations which characterized his life. 
In his journal he writes: "A new year in a new era! How 
time flies, and how wonderful, how magnificent are the events 
which are borne upon its wings ! It is the opening of a dispen- 
sation that includes all other dispensations since the world began. 
The events of the one thousand years past pale into insignificance 
compared with the work of the present time." 

On New Year's day Wilford Woodruff, with other members 
of his Quorum, all being present, except Orson Pratt, marched in 
a body to the homes of Presidents Young, Kimball, and Rich- 
ards, and to the home of Father John Smith, the patriarch, in the 
order named and with loving respect wished them a happy and 
prosperous New Year. Each of the Presidency and Father Smith 
pronounced their blessings, and in return the Twelve blessed them. 
In the evening of that day, the Presidency and the Twelve dedi- 
cated the Social Hall for social purposes, and with about two hun- 
dred of the Saints joined in a dance with praise and thanksgiving 
to the Lord. 

The 14th of February, 1853, witnessed the dedication of the 
site of the Salt Lake Temple. The Presidency and the Twelve 
broke the ground with a pick. It was an occasion of great joy 
among the Saints, as a temple meant so much to their hopes and 
faith. On April the 6th, the four corner-stones were dedicated, 
and speeches were delivered. Forty years thereafter, Wilford 
Woodruff, more than 86 years of age, presided at its completion 
and dedication. 

On the 25th of August Elder Woodruff went with members 



of the Twelve to locate a new Weber settlement. The people 
there were growing dissatisfied and changed their location several 
times. At the October conference, following, Wilford Woodruff 
and Ezra T. Benson were appointed to select fifty families to settle 
in Tooele Valley. The work in that valley engaged his time 
largely during the remainder of the year until the 12th of Decem- 
ber, when he again took up his work in the House of Representa- 

The new year of 1854 dawned upon the Sabbath day. In 
the afternoon the Saints were addressed by Apostle Woodruff. 
On the evening of the 2nd there was a dancing party given 
in the Social Hall. The parties there were attended by the 
leaders, and an effort was made to give to those occasions an 
innocent joy and a high social quality that would uplift the dance 
and make it a suitable place for Saints, and not allow it to be 
the exclusive pastime of the sinners. In those early days there 
was a much greater opposition on the part of the different re- 
ligious denominations of the world than there is today. This 
practice, from the outset among the Latter-day Saints of taking 
their religion with them into the social life was one of the al- 
leged faults which the religious world condemned. In those 
times when there were so many difficulties, so many hardships 
different from those which the people had to encounter in the 
East, the dance was about the only sort of amusement which 
the Saints could enjoy. 

The following are the words of President Young which 
give his views of the ball room, and which he gave on the even- 
ing of the 2nd: "I consider this a suitable place to give some 
instructions. The world considers it very wicked for a Christian 
to hear music and to dance. Many preachers say that fiddling 
and music come from hell, but I say there is no fiddling, there 
is no music in hell. Music belongs to heaven, to cheer God, 
angels, and men. If we could hear the music there is in heaven, 
it would overwhelm us mortals. Music and dancing are for 
the benefit of holy ones, and all those who come here to-night who 
are not holy and righteous and do not worship God have no right 
to come here. ,, 

Men and women were taught that in all they did on the 
week day as upon the Sabbath they should honor God. If, 

THE YEARS 18$2, '53, '54. 3SS 

later on, excesses in dancing and its improper practice were 
corrected by a Prophet of God, John Taylor, it was because of the 
excesses and the improprieties of certain classes, and not because 
of the ball room itself. To him, there was great objection in- 
permitting the dance room to become a financial scheme. 

In the year of 1854 President Willard Richards was suf- 
fering from palsy, and the attention which he received at the 
hands of Elder Woodruff was characteristic of the latter's tender 
regard and loving administration for those whom he esteemed. 
Besides giving his attention to the sick, he also began the work 
of teaching and preparing the young men for their duties in 
the office of the lesser priesthood. He was especially solicitous 
of the training of his young sons, especially Wilford junior. 

Those were days of extreme sociability and neighborly love. 
In his journal Elder Woodruff writes of a visit to his home of 
Ann Whitney and Eliza R. Snow: "I read over several of the 
old sermons of Joseph that were not recorded anywhere except 
in my journal. We passed a pleasant evening together, and 
before they left they sang in tongues in the pure language which 
Adam and Eve spoke in the Garden of Eden. This gift was 
obtained in the Kirtland Temple through a promise of the Prophet 
Joseph Smith. He told Sister Whitney if she would rise upon her 
feet she should have the pure language. She did so, and im- 
mediately began to sing in tongues. It was nearer to heavenly 
music than anything I ever heard." This beautiful gift Sister 
Whitney retained throughout her life time, and upon appropriate 
occasions exercised it to the edification and joy of the Saints. 

In those days Elder Woodruff found some time in the midst 
of public duties to devote to the reading of good books, among 
them was the first volume of the life of Benjamin Franklin, .and ■ 
into his journal he copied Franklin's rules of perfection. What- 
ever was high-minded, choice, or of value as discipline, Wilford 
Woodruff cherished. 

On the 11th of January of that year President Willard 
Richards died. He had been a sufferer for many years, but 
through faith his life had been prolonged. Of him Elder Wood- 
ruff writes: "He is the first of the Twelve or of our Presi- 
dency who has died in the faith a natural death. All who have 
gone before in full fellowship have died martyrs*" He and Presi- 


dent Richards had formed a strong attachment for each other, and 
they had traveled together quite extensively in their missionary 
labors and pioneer work. At the time of President Richard's 
death, President Young was too ill to attend the funeral. 

The following month of March Elder Woodruff visited Too- 
ele City, Grantsville, and other places in Tooele Valley, the coloni- 
zation of which had been largely intrusted to himself and Elders 
Benson and Maughan. 

On the 27th of that month, he returned to Salt Lake City and 
met with the Twelve at his home. Here, the missionaries who 
were going to England had been set apart, and Franklin D. 
Richards was called to preside over the European mission. 

The April conference which followed was one of considerable 
importance. It became necessary to select someone to fill the 
place made vacant by the death of Willard Richards. President 
Young asked the Twelve to suggest some man for the place, but 
they considered it his privilege to choose his own counselor, and so 
informed him, at the same time promising to endorse his selec- 
tion. When the authorities were sustained, Jedediah M. Grant 
was taken into the First Presidency of the Church. He had been 
a faithful and distinguished elder, and was loved by all the Saints. 

It was at this conference that the question of Consecration 
was presented. Speaking of that subject, President Kimball said: 
"I want all I have to be secured in the Kingdom of God." They 
knew the dangers and temptations of wealth, the selfishness which 
it begets, as well as its destruction of brotherly love. 

At the same conference, President Kimball spoke on Plural 
Marriage and declared its divine origin. "Many of you have 
fought it," he said, "you may continue to fight it until you go 
down into your graves, and it will still continue to be the work 
of God, and will still continue through all Eternity." 

At that time Elder Parley P. Pratt was appointed to es- 
tablish a stake of the Church at Horner's ranch in California. 
Erastus Snow was called on a mission to St. Louis, and Orson 
Pratt to Cincinnati. Joseph F. Smith, then a boy less than 16 
years of age, was called upon his first mission to the Sandwich 

On the 3rd of May, a party of the leaders, of which Elder 
Woodruff was one, started on a tour of the southern settlements. 

THE YEARS 1852, '53, '54. 357 

Their first day's drive was to Union Ward, where the Saints had 
been counseled to build their homes within a fort, as a protection 
against the Indians. It appears that to some extent this counsel 
had been ignored by the people there. In speaking of that fact 
President Young said : "I am responsible for the counsel I give. 
If you want to know any more concerning it — do right; pray to 
the Lord, that you may have His mind revealed and may under- 
stand the truth and know for yourselves what lies before you — 
then you will not question these things, but will go to work and 
do them with all your might/' 

In those days there was a special anxiety to protect the people, 
who were scattering out to form new settlements, against the 
attacks of the Indians. The people noted the special supervision 
of their leaders who were constantly directing the settlements 
which were in time to come to be the strongholds of the Latter- 
day Saints. Every detail was thought out, and nothing escaped 
the vigilant watch-care of their Prophet. In his journal Elder 
Woodruff recorded the remarks of President Young spoken to 
the people of Pleasant Grove: "Your stacks are so placed that 
one Indian could fire the whole place, and others could shoot 
you down. While you were fighting the fire they could kill every 
man, woman, and child in this place." 

The party continued the journey from here to- Provo, Spring- 
ville, and Payson. When they reached Payson they were ap- 
proaching the Indian country, and the Indian question was dis- 
cussed. President Young counseled the Saints to feed the In- 
dians and treat them kindly. When the company reached a place 
about fifteen miles south of Payson an organization was effected : 
Robert T. Burton was made captain of the guard ; W. Woodruff, 
historian; Parley P. Pratt and John Taylor, chaplains; Edward 
Hunter, chief bishop: and Dr. Sprague, physician and surgeon. 

After leaving Nephi, Elder Woodruff makes this interest- 
ing record: "The next day, May 11th, we rode to Chicken 
Creek and spent the night near Walker and his band. President 
Young and council tried to talk with him, but he was sulky and not 
disposed to talk. When we first formed our corral within forty 
rods of his camp, he gathered all of his ^warriors and made quite a 
display, but we did not go to meet them, so they turned their horses 
out and went to their tents. 


"When we called upon Walker, he lay down in the dirt and 
was averse to talking. Brother Young manifested great patience 
even when almost any other man would have been exhausted. 
He went to him and lifted him out of the dirt and finally drew 
from him a conversation. Walker said he had no spirit, he had 
no heart, he did not wish to talk. 'I want to sit still and hear 
President Young and others talk/ President Young gave him 
some tobacco. The chief said when he had plenty of tobacco all 
his friends would come and smoke with him, but when he had 
no tobacco they would stay away from him. President Young 
then said: 'I have brought some beef cattle for you. I want 
one killed so you can have a feast while we are here.' Walker 
then wanted the Mormons to sing before the parties took a smoke. 
The chief said, 'Ezra T. Benson came, and his heart was good. 
Diminick Huntington came, and his heart was running/ We 
then sang, and when this was done Walker said, 'I have not got 
the spirit of the Lord. If there is anyone here who can give 
me the spirit of the Lord I wish he would do it/ Speaking 
further, the old chief said, 'White people in heaven are happy/ 
An Indian by the name of Tulpidge then spoke amid much cry- 
ing and tears. He was the Indian who had his wife killed. He 
said Diminick Huntington had been good to him, and he had not 
seen him since his child's death. He said: 'We now have good 
hearts and the Mormons who are now here have good hearts. 
We can lie down in peace without fear, and I want to live in 
friendship with this people/ 

"We now left the Indian camp and returned to our wagons, 
but President Young had another talk with Walker the same day. 
On the following day we again visited Walker's tent, but the 
chief was still sulky and would not talk. He left his tent and 
went into the willows while the others talked. The Indians had 
a sick child which they wished the elders to administer to. Presi- 
dent Kimball with Elders Benson and Wells did so, and Dr. 
Sprague left some medicine for the child and for others who 
were sick. The Indian said if his sick child died he would have 
to kill an Indian child or a Mormon child to go with it — this is 
their tradition. The interpreter told him he must not do it as that 
was wrong; that when a Mormon child died we did not kill an- 
other to go with it and they must not do it. The Indian said that 

THE YEARS 1852, '53, '54. 359 

if the child got well, he would go with us. He said Walker was 
a great chief, and that President Young was a great chief. 

"Peteetnet spoke and said they would be good and not steal, 
neither would they kill anybody, and that anyone could go alone 
and not be killed. Walker wished President Young to write a 
letter that he might show to the people and let them know that 
we were at peace with each other. This, President Young did. 
Dr. Sprague gave them some medicine, and after a talk of peace 
and good will from the old chief we shook hands and smoked 
the pipe of peace. Walker received his presents. We killed a 
beef and made a great feast for the Indians. They traded blankets 
for horses and bought two Indians who were prisoners. After 
making peace we left them and rode on to Sevier River. Walker, 
Squashead, and many others went with us and spent the night on 
the Sevier. We made a raft and took our wagons over in an hour 
and a half. Next day we reached Fillmore, a distance of thirty- 
five miles." 

From Fillmore the party passed through Beaver and Parowan 
to Cedar City. Here they visited the Iron Works and saw some 
of the products. Erastus Snow was present and explained to them 
the difficulties to be contended with in the manufacture of iron, 
as they were so far from railroads. During this trip the company 
visited Harmony and then returned to the North, reaching Salt 
Lake the 30th of the month, having traveled a distance of 574 miles. 

June the 27th, 18^4, the anniversary of the martyrdom of 
Joseph and Hyrum, was observed. The Church held a general 
conference, according to previous appointment. Elder John 
Taylor was called on a mission to New York, while other elders 
were called to different parts of the world. John Smith, son of 
Hyrum Smith, was on that day called to the position of presiding 
patriarch of the Church. He was the fourth to occupy that place 
in this dispensation. 

During those busy times of travel and teaching, Elder Wood- 
ruff also found time to farm his land. He records that on that 
year he raised 369 bushels of wheat, 400 bushels of potatoes and 
200 bushels of corn. 

On November 27th, he set out upon a visit to the settlements 
in the north. On the 2nd of December, he paid his first visit to 
Ogden, where he found a large colony of Saints on the east side 


of the Weber River. Here he counseled the people respecting 
the payment of their tithing, the Poor Fund, the establishment of 
schools, also the building of a wall around the city for protection 
against attacks by the Indians. At this time he also visited North 
Ogden, then called Ogden Hole, seven miles north of Ogden City. 
It was at that time one of the most flourishing settlements north 
of Salt Lake City. There were forty-seven families and a school 
with fifty pupils. The people here raised in 1854, 16,000 bushels 
of wheat. 

On the 4th of December, Elder Woodruff visited Willow 
Creek, now Willard. From there he went to Box Elder, later 
known as Brigham City, which was then chiefly settled by Saints 
from Scandinavia and Wales. Returning, he reached home De- 
cember 9th. On the next day he listened to Charles C. Rich, 
who gave an account of the rise and progress of the settlement 
of the Saints in San Bernardino. 

On the 11th of December the legislature met. The Council 
then consisted of four members: Heber C. Kimball, Daniel H. 
Wells, Orson Pratt, and Wilford Woodruff. The House had 
nine members : Albert Carrington, Leonard E. Harrington, Aaron 
Johnson, Isaac Morley, John A. Ray, Geo. A, Smith. Lorin Farr, 
and Erastus Bingham. At that time there were only seven coun- 
ties, viz., Salt Lake, San Pete, Millard, Iron, Davis, and Weber. 

On Christmas day of that year, there was some excitement 
created by a drunken brawl among the soldiers who were quart- 
ered in the heart of the city. Some of the citizens became mixed 
up with it. Some of the soldiers fired upon the people who 
threw stones at them. The officers, however, with the aid of the 
marshal and mayor restored peace. In the evening, Col. Steptoe 
and Judge Kinney gave a ball and invited the Presidency and 
Twelve. Of the occasion Brother Woodruff writes: "It was a 
splendid affair. We had a good supper and a splendid dance." 

In order to give some intellectual pastime, a Philosophical 
Society was organized to which the leaders gave special attention 
and encouragement to those who were anxious to improve their 

Closing his journal for that year Elder Woodruff notes that 
he traveled over 1,800 miles, attended 47 meetings, and preached 
44 discourses. He also attended two general conferences, and 
passed twenty days in the legislature. 


Education Promoted. — Adventurers. — Endowment House. — President 

Young Speaks of the Resurrection. — Death of Judge Schafer. — Prove 

Work in Educational Societies. — In the Legislature at Fillmore. — 

• Words of Confidence from Kanosh, an Indian Chief. — Some Pe- 

cularities of Wilford Woodruff. — Poisoned. 

The first day of the year 1855 was observed by a social en- 
tertainment which the Governor and the Legislature of Utah gave 
in the new Social Hall. "It was the most splendid party up to that 
date ever gotten up in the Territory. The United States judges 
and military officers were invited. Dancing commenced at 3 
o'clock in the afternoon and closed with a supper at mid-night." 

These hardy pioneers had grand ambitions in their humble 
homes, amid humble surroundings. They established a grammar 
school under the direction of Orson Hyde. They also organized a 
Universal Scientific Association for the study of science, the pro- 
motion of education, and the accumulation of a library and muse- 
um. They already had their Philosophical Society and later or- 
ganized a Horticultural Association for the purpose of encourag- 
ing the growth of fruit in the Territory. 

On the 4th of February, at the Sunday meeting, some atten- 
tion was given to the attitude which the Saints had taken toward 
a host of new comers who were not of their faith. Most of them 
belonged to an adventurous class and were unscrupulous men. 
Against them the Saints were warned. This warning created con- 
siderable excitement among them. The new comers were angry, but 
the Saints were firm. In time excitement quieted down. Some of 
the outsiders soon learned that there was a social barrier which they 
could not break down. They were not here to establish homes, 
and many were disappointed when they could not prey upon the 
homes of the Latter-day Saints. 

As spring approached new problems arose. The new country 
was a kind of experiment station, and the people were anxious to 
get all kinds of seeds that they might experiment with the soil and 
climate. Elder Woodruff was among the first to introduce fruit 


trees. He obtained thirty-one different kinds of choice applegrafts. 
The future began to look more hopeful. They had in mind a 
grand commonwealth, which by their faithful industry they would 
establish. They were spreading out over the Valleys of the Moun- 
tains and estaDiishing homes. They were a happy people, full of 
hope and grand expectations — if the soil responded to their efforts. 

The political situation became disappointing. At first Brig- 
ham Young had been appointed Governor, and had given satisfac- 
tion. He was beloved by his people ; and respect for their local self- 
government and their wishes would have continued him as such, 
but men were not slow in circulating evil reports and in creating 
prejudice and hatred in the hearts of those who leaned toward the 
Latter-day Saints. The word came that another was to succeed 
Brigham Young as governor. 

Announcement was made that on February the 18th President 
Young would give the views of our people concerning the govern- 
ment of the United States. On chat date the Tabernacle was 
crowded, and there were probably one thousand people on the out- 
side who could not find entrance ; but President Young was sick 
and unable to attend. His statement, however, to the people was 
read in which he expressed loyalty to the Constitution and laws 
of the country, but disapprobation towards those who were severe, 
and towards men in high places who disregarded the rights of 
the people here. The address was published in the Deseret News 
and later on, in the Journal of Discourses. 

On February 18th John Smith received his ordination to the 
office of Patriarch of the Church, he having been previously 
called to that high station on the 10th of March, 1853. Elder 
Woodruff records the death of an old friend, Joseph Russell, who 
was faithful and true, and who had given nearly all his means 
amounting to about $7,000.00 to the Church. 

The conference of that year began on April 6th, with about 
12,000 people in attendance. Times were somewhat exciting, and 
there was a pronounced demonstration on the part of the Saints 
in the matter of their adherance to the work of God. At that time 
about one hundred missionaries were called. A little later on in 
the same month the Deseret Theological Society was organized. 

On May the 15th, the Endowment House was dedicated. To 
the older of the present generation its sacred precincts, its rites, 


and ordinances are among the most cherished memories. Apostle 
Woodruff was present at its dedication ; and later in life when the 
Temple supplanted it, he ordered it removed. On the day follow- 
ing its dedication, Geo, Q. Cannon gave an interesting account of 
his mission to the Sandwich Islands. 

On the same date- President Young in speaking of the resur- 
rection, as recorded by President Woodruff, said : "The identical 
particles of matter in which we have honored our spirits, our tab- 
ernacles, in which we have suffered, traveled, labored, and built 
up the Kingdom of God would be the identical bodies resurrected, 
and no others. They will be raised from the grave to immortality 
and eternal lives. Evil was placed upon the earth that man might 
know the good from the evil, for without an experience in those 
things, men could not know one from the other. Upon the earth 
the devil sowed the seeds of death in everything, so that as soon 
as Adam and Eve began to eat of the fruit of the earth they re- 
ceived into their systems the seeds of mortality — death. Their 
children thus became mortal and subject to pain, sorrow,and death. 
By this means they were redeemed and partook of life, peace, and 
happiness, and they would know how to prize them. Father Adam 
would never cease his labors to redeem his posterity and axalt 
them to all the glory they were capable of receiving. Yet man 
has his agency to act for himself — choose good or evil, and to be 
rewarded according to his works." 

On May the 19th Elder Woodruff set out upon another visit 
to the southern settlements in company with President Young. At 
Cedar City they found the iron works in full blast. They were 
making good iron, casting pipes and other necessary appliances 
needed by the people. While there, they organized a stake of 
Zion comprising Iron County. On reaching Lehi on their return 
they had an interesting visit from Aropene, an Indian chief. This 
was the latter part of May, and by this time the crops and gardens 
had almost entirely been destroyed by the grasshoppers. 

In his journal of June 30th of that year he records the 
funeral of Judge Schafer, Chief Justice of the Territorial Supreme 
Court of Utah. The funeral was held on that day. The Saints 
turned out in large numbers and showed great honor to the 
judge whose justice and uprightness were so greatly respected. 

On July the 13th Elder Woodruff attended the conference 


in Provo with Presidents Young, Kimball, and Grant. During 
the conference, they had a visit from an Indian chief whose Eng- 
lish name was High Forehead. He and others of his tribe ad- 
dressed the congregation, expressing their confidence in President 
Young and the people over whom he presided. There was in 
those days a class of people in Provo whose" conduct was not 
entirely satisfactory. It was a gathering place for many uncouth 
miners, whose habits of drinking and gambling did not give 
Provo a very good name. Speaking of the town, Apostle Wood- 
ruff says in his journal: "There was a strange spirit in Provo 
and many had not the spirit of God." Many of the early inhabi- 
tants of the town will find in that remark something of the spirit 
of charity. 

On Elder Woodruff's return to Salt Lake City he speaks of 
the excellent times they had in the Polysophical Society as well 
as in the Universal Scientific Society. These social gatherings 
for intellectual improvement afforded the progressive men of 
those days some opportunity to satisfy their desires for education. 
Elder Woodruff rarely failed in his journal to give an account 
of the doings of those societies, and to express the great delight 
he had had over the information imparted by the lectures. In his 
journal he says: "On September 13th we met in the Social Hall 
under the organization of a Pomological Society. The house was 
well filled and the subject discussed was the organization of a 
Horticultural Society. A committee was appointed to draft the 
constitution and by-laws to govern said society. I was chosen 
chairman of this committee, and subsequently president of the 
society which did much to promote the culture and growth of 
fruit in the Territory. 

The spirit of Wilford Woodruff was pre-eminently mission- 
ary in every aspect of his life. If he raised fruit, it was in ful- 
fillment of a mission to promote an industry. When he sat in 
the legislative halls, he regarded his work as a grand mission for 
the establishment and spread of the principles of civil govern- 
ment. It all made him an enthusiastic worker. If he farmed, 
he did it as much to teach others how to farm as to obtain a liveli- 
hood from it. With him, all life and labor was a mission. It was 
all in the spirit of a teacher and he was conscientious in the ex- 
treme about what and how he would teach. In attending a 


quarterly conference at Farmington in October, 1855, he writes 
in his journal: "After retiring to bed I prayed to the Lord to 
show me what we should teach the people, and this I received as 
an answer. 'Let my servants obtain the -Holy Ghost and keep 
My spirit with them and that will instruct them what to teach the 
people continually. Instruct the people to keep My spirit with 
them and they will be enabled to understand the word of the 
Lord when it is taught unto them.' " 

It is quite natural, therefore, that he should keep a careful 
account of missionary work both at home and abroad. He notes 
in the fall of that year that Nathaniel V. Jones returned from 
his mission to Hindoostan, also the appointment of Lorenzo Snow, 
Ezra T. Benson, and Phineas Young to England. 

Elder Woodruff was appointed as a misisonary, in connec- 
tion with Elders Orson Pratt, and Parley P. Pratt, to travel 
throughout the Territory. He speaks of this event as giving him 
much pleasure and adds: "It is the first time since the organi- 
zation of this Church and Quorum that I have had the privilege of 
being associated with these two men on a preaching mission. 
We have met but little except in conference from time to time." 
He mentions about this time the death of Orson Spencer who 
had died in St. Louis. Of him he says: "Many friends mourn 
his loss. He was a firm pillar in the Church and Kingdom of 

Having been again elected to the legislature, Elder Woodruff 
set out for Fillmore which was then the capital of the Territory. 
He went in company with Lorenzo Snow, Loren Farr, and Jon- 
athan C. Wright. While in Fillmore, in January, 1856, he re- 
ported and wrote in his journal an account of an excellent dis- 
course preached by President Young. The following was taken 
from his journal: "It is our duty to make every sacrifice (if it 
may be called a sacrifice) required of us by our Fattier in Heaven, 
that He and His holy angels may know our integrity. I see a 
thousand weaknesses in myself that I now regret, and it is so with 
all those who have the spirit of God, and they will try to over- 
come them. People may be guilty of various sins, and do you 
think they can be forgiven in a moment. No, every Latter-day 
Samt knows better. This would bq sectarianism. The religion 
of the world is that a man may commit muder, and when on the 


gallows, he can repent and be forgiven and go straightway to 
Abraham's bosom. It is a false doctrine. It is not true. Some 
may say that they cannot overcome their passions when they are 
tempted and tried, they cannot help scolding, swearing, etc., but 
I tell you they can help it, and must overcome it sooner or later 
or they cannot be saved. We should improve day by day, be a 
better man or woman to-morrow than we are fo-day. Mothers, 
when you are cross and attempt to correct you children, conquer 
yourselves first. Fathers, when you feel angry passions rise, then 
you need the grace of God to bring yourselves into subjection to 
Him that you may gain victory over your feelings. Live so that 
you may Rave the revelations of God concerning you in all things 
— that you cannot be deceived. When Sidney Rigdon claimed 
to be the leader of the people, the people knew not his voice. Par- 
ents are under the greatest obligation to live their religion, so also 
the young men and women, that when they marry and have a pos- 
terity their children may be born in holiness and righteousness, 
and it will then be hard to make anything out of them but Latter- 
day Saints." . 

On January the 16th, Kanosh, an Indian chief, made an ad- 
dress to the brethren, as follows: "I am just beginning to get 
my eyes opened. I know that President Young's talk is good. 
What he says is so. He tells us more good, and I am like the 
sun just rising in the East, and so with my people. We have 
been in the night, I have had eyes but I could not see, and ears, 
but I could not hear; and this has been the case with my people. 
Our hearts could not understand, but now our eyes see, our ears 
hear, and our hearts understand. All that Brigham and Heber 
have said is straight; but when I talk with Col. Steptoe and 
his men, he is not straight, I would not believe, for a tenth part 
of their talk is not straight, and so it is with the Spaniards, and 
with all the white men until I saw the Mormons. They are the first 
to tell me the truth. You are here to make laws. I hope you will 
make good laws to punish the guilty and spare the innocent. I 
wish to do right and have my people do right. I do not want 
them to steal nor kill. I want to plant and raise wheat, and to 
learn to plough, and do as the white people do. I want to learn 
to read and to write, and to have my children learn so that we may 
understand what you say to us." This is a beautiful manifesta- 


tion of the confidence which the better class of Indians had in the 
Mormon people. 

After the adjournment of the legislature, and on the 26th of 
January, a large mass meeting was held in Salt Lake City to 
consider the establishment of a mail and passenger service between 
the Western States and California. Governor Young was chosen 
chairman. A committee was appointed to draft resolutions re- 
garding the project. About this time the First Reader published 
in the Deseret Alphabet was gotten up. To this work Elder Wood- 
ruff gave much of his time. During the month of February he 
reports in his journal that three boys had been killed by the In- 
dians who had driven off a number of horses and cattle. 

On the 3rd of March Elder Woodruff was called on a mis- 
sion to the East to secure type for the Deseret Alphabet. On the 
7th of April, during" the spring conference of that year, he was 
appointed assistant historian of the Church. In those days mis- 
sionaries were usually called at conference, and that occasion had 
in it surprises for many who were called to go on a mission 
without a moment's notice. At this time Elders Orson Pratt and 
Ezra T. Benson were called to England to preside over the 
European mission. 

There was, too, a humorous side to Wilford Woodruff's na- 
ture, notwithstanding the seriousness which he possessed. It 
seems that in One of the Sunday meetings President Jedediah M. 
Grant found it necessary to refer to some thefts which had taken 
place a short time before. Among other things stolen was some 
flour that had been taken from Elder Woodruff's home, After 
concluding his rebuke for these things President Woodruff arose 
and said: "If they have taken the flour because of hunger and 
will ask the blessing upon the bread when it is made, and send 
me home the bags, I will bring no accusation against them." 
The bags were put in a sack and brought to his home next morn- 

A circumstance somewhat of the same nature as that referred 
to, occurred in which the writer was a witness. He and one of 
his companions were chasing a flock of tame ducks up the street 
along Elder Woodruff's fence. The latter saw them and came 
out. He being a nervous, quick-spoken man, the boys expected 
a scolding. "Boys," he said, "if you will let those ducks alone, I 


will give you some apricots." They hardly knew how to compose 
themselves — so great was their surprise — but they went with him 
to the orchard, one of them filling his hat and the other a bucket. 
Nothing further disagreeable was said, but the boys never there- 
after chased the ducks. 

On the 22nd of April of that year, the missionaries who 
were called on missions left the city for their fields of labor. It 
was a greater effort in those days to take a mission. The sacri- 
fice was greater for all concerned. The dreary plains had to be 
crossed again, and the expense was naturally very great. At 
this time George A. Smith and John Taylor went to Washington 
to urge claims of Utah for admission into the Union. A few days 
after the missionaries left, Apostle Woodruff was poisoned in 
consequence of skinning an animal which had been killed by 
poison. His system became so infected that his life was despaired 
of, but his faith was so unceasing and so disassociated from all 
doubt that through administration he was healed. Brother Wood- 
ruff records in his journal the blessing which President Young 
pronounced upon his head, as follows : "Brother Woodruff, I say 
to you in the name of Jesus Christ, that you shall not die, but 
you shall live to finish your work which was appointed you to do 
upon the earth. The adversary has sought many times to destroy 
your life but the Lord has preserved you, and will preserve you 
until your work is done." 

On his recovery he makes record of a letter received from 
the chief gardener of Queen Victoria, who desired to open a cor- 
respondence with the Horticultural Society of Utah. Such mat- 
ters were of course highly interesting to the people here, because 
those were days of experiments. 



Hard Times Were Difficult for Some To Endure. — Recording Church 
History. — Dedication of Historian's Office. — First Hand-cart Com- 
pany. — The Reformation Inaugurated. — Death of Jedediah M. Grant. — 
Suffering of the Hand-cart Companies. — Heber C. Kimball's Dream. 

The year 1856 found the people engrossed in the labors inci- 
dent to pioneer life. They were beginning to appreciate more 
than ever the wonderful resources of their new Zion. The grow- 
ing opportunities to accumulate means were absorbing the more 
progressive classes. The social life of the people, however, was 
not neglected, ,and there were picnics and celebrations. The 
Fourth and the Twenty-fourth were great days. The out door 
amusements of those times were more enjoyable because of the 
general surroundings. This year the Fourth was ushered in by 
the firing of cannon and the ringing of bells. There were pro- 
cessions and orations that pleased and inspired* the people. The 
canyons were near by and they were agreeable resorts in days 
when there were few groves. These occasions helped the people 
to forget many of the hardships incident to pioneer life. Some 
could not easily endure the trials of those days because they had 
not sufficient faith to penetrate in the least the future. To them 
all was darkness and hardship. Some were discouraged. 

About this time, one of the chief clerks in the Historian's Office 
became weary of the hardships of those days, was a victim of des- 
pair. He entertained doubts of the truth of the work ; and though 
he was treated well by all the brethren, he was nevertheless un- 
happy and returned to England to take up again the life in which 
he had been reared. Apostle Woodruff wrote of him thus : "He 
could not stand the hard times, and did not know whether Mor- 
monism was true or not, so he returned home. He had taken a 
very honorable course in all his business dealings." The man 
was respected and spoken well of. He felt that he had made a 
mistake, but he was honest and honorable. He never sought to 
shift the burden of his own unhappiness and discontent on to the 



shoulders of others. He aimed to be fair and wanted to do what 
was right. The man had not the faith to support him in the 
trying ordeals of those early years in Utah. It was one cir- 
cumstance out of many ; and like some others who left the Church, 
he never felt it his duty to bring reproach upon those whose faith 
he could neither understand nor appreciate. The man was not 
hindered in the execution of his wishes. He was wished God 
speed, and his old-time friends would still be friends, even though 
there might be a great disparity in the matter of faith. 

In those days, Elder Woodruff was occupied largely in the 
historian's office reading Church history to President Young. 
From the beginning of the Church in Utah, President Young had 
felt the importance of keeping an accurate and extended history 
of God's dispensation in the Valleys of the Mountains. Many 
important things connected with the Church in its infancy had not 
been recorded, and were then even becoming matters of hearsay. 

On the 6th of September, 1856, a large number of mission- 
aries were set apart and the burden of the instructions to them 
then was the keeping of a journal. The special instructions on 
that occasion were given to them by Parley P. Pratt and Wilford 
Woodruff, the latter outlined in a general way what should make 
up a journal. The record was to be "full, correct, and proper." 
Matters were to be so fully given that future generations would not 
be at a loss to understand them. They should be so correct, that 
credence could be given to what was written, and so proper that 
inappropriate and irrelevant matters should not fill up and make 
a journal tedious and of no consequence, except, perhaps, to the 
one who wrote it. All official acts in the exercise of the authority 
of the priesthood should be carefully kept. Whenever it be- 
came important for the Church to give a history of any event, 
it should be able to put its hands on the records of those who 
took part in them. 

Parley P. Pratt said: "I have reflected upon this subject for 
years to know what a man should write, and have come to the 
conclusion that he should write his official acts in the priesthood. 
I am sorry that I have not kept more of a journal than I have. 
I wish I had written every man's name that I ever baptized, or 
administered to in any manner. In setting forth the hand dealings 
of God with this people, the elders of the Church become per- 


sonal witnesses for God, and every event which is a manifestation 
of God's power in their lives and ministry should be recorded." 
They fully appreciated the fact that though an event may not be 
of great importance to-day, it may be valuable to-morrow in the 
light of all that follows it. 

On the 10th of September, Apostle Woodruff and the clerks 
in the historian's office moved to their new office, which was an 
imposing building in those days, and which still stands on South 
Temple Street between State and Main Streets. Elder Woodruff 
was mouth in the dedication of this building on September 15th, 
1856. Elder Woodruff records this blessing in his journal and 
exclaims therein : "Wilt thou bless, O Lord, with thy holy spirit 
this building, that we may never profane thy name in this house, 
or dishonor the holy priesthood, or bring approach upon thy 
cause, or grieve thy holy spirit in any way. Bring to our remem- 
brance all things necessary to be written in the history of the 
Church, and cause that papers and documents that are necessary 
may be brought to us that we may be enabled to compile a. cor- 
rect, useful, and proper history." 

On the 26th of the same month, the two first hand-cart com- 
panies entered Salt Lake Valley. They were in charge of Ed- 
mund Ellsworth and Daniel Duncan McArthur, the former was 
the husband of President Young's oldest daughter. Elder Ells- 
worth died some years ago, but Elder McArthur, at this writing, 
1909, still lives in St. George in the 86th year of his age. For 
some years he was president of the St. George stake of Zion. 
These companies of Saints were met at the mouth of Emigration 
Canyon to the east of the city and were escorted with much dis- 
play and honor to the city. President Young and the general 
authorities went out to meet them. Bands of music enlivened the 
occasion, and the presence of many Saints gave great distinction 
to the scene. They had pushed and pulled their hand-carts from 
the Missouri River, over a thousand miles. They had waded the 
streams, climbed the mountains, and had made better time than 
either the ox or the horse teams. 

This new method of crossing the plains had been first sug- 
gested and decided upon in England during the presidency in 
that mission of Franklin D. Richards. It was, in a measure, an 
outburst of the enthusiastic desire and spirit of the people there 


to gather with their religious comrades in the Valleys of the 
Mountains. The first companies had fared measurably well, but 
those who came later, and were the victims of an unusual and 
extraordinary winter, suffered greatly. 

At this place in Elder Woodruff's journal, he records a dream 
related by Daniel H. Wells and the latter's interpretation of it. 
He saw in his dream a butcher's cleaver in the heavens, from 
which he was led to predict the near approach of war and blood- 
shed in the nation. The time, he declared, was nearer than people 

The completion of the Historian's Office this year was fol- 
lowed by the dedication of the Endowment House on October 2nd. 
The leading men of the Church met at the baptismal font where 
the dedicatory prayer was offered by Heber C. Kimball. Elder 
Woodruff says: "It was full of sublimity and prophecy which 
found its fulfillment in the history of the font and the building." 
It would be difficult even to estimate the sacred influence which 
that building has exercised upon the lives of untold thousands 
who felt themselves within its sacred precincts in the presence of 
their God. The purity that went out from that sacred house into 
the lives of those who were married there has been the guiding 
star and the savior of thousands of men and women in the 
Church. How strange, how remarkable, that a place with such 
sacred apd uplifting influence should be made the ooject of vicious 
attacks by those who were the enemies of the Church and its per- 
secutors ! 

The completion of the font signalized the importance of the 
so-called Reformation in the Church which began in that year. 
President Young entered the font and baptized his counselors, 
Heber C. Kimball, and Jedediah M. Grant. Later Elder Wood- 
ruff and others were DarJtized; and the privilege extended to all 
the Saints throughout the Church to renew their covenants. There 
was a spirit of trouble brewing; a growing opposition through- 
out the United States toward the Saints was felt by the leaders, 
who were impressed by the spirit of reform. It was important 
that the people should be so upright and chaste in their lives that 
the Lord should have no occasion to punish them for their short- 
comings. It was a time of revival in the observance of the duties 
and the ordinances in the Church. The people were called upon 


to repent. Questions touching their morals and the manner of 
their worship were put to the people both in public places and in 
their homes. The people generally were asked to renew their 
covenants by baptism. 

An excerpt from the journal of Elder Woodruff illustrates 
something of the spirit of those times. After explaining to a cer- 
tain individual that he considered it a privilege to be re-baptized, 
the man professed his immunity from sin. 

*Tn all the trials incident to the pilgrimage and pioneer life, 
have you never sworn nor used bad language ?" 

"No sir," was the prompt reply. 

"Have you never broken the Sabbath day?" 

"No sir," came the quick response. 

"Have you never cheated your neighbor in trade?" 

"No sir," thundered the unrepentant man. 

"Then, for heavens sake, go off and do something. You are 
the only perfect man I ever saw, and hope never to see another 
in this life." 

Subsequent events, however, proved that the man who was 
so self-assertive was the very sort of an individual who was 
greatly in need of repentance. 

From the days of the gold excitement in California, there 
had been an influx of adventurers into Utah. Most of them were 
men of reckless lives, men of improper habits. Their influence 
became greatly detrimental to many of the Saints. It must be 
counteracted, and the so-called Reformation was to be the means 
of setting the people right. It was to be a time of repentance. 
Every responsible position that men held, whether ecclesiastical 
or civil, called for the most devout obedience to God's law. Men 
who were legislators observed the ordinance of baptism that they 
might more conscientiously and more uprightly enact laws for 
the happiness and welfare of the people. 

The October conference which was then at hand was devoted 
to the proclamation of repentance throughout the Church. The 
new zeal was felt everywhere, both at home and abroad. There 
were frequent visits from house to house. The leaders of the 
Church were foremost in the new move. A special call was put 
upon Jedediah M. Grant. To him the work of the Reformation 
was a special mission. He was by nature a most zealous man, 


and this special call increased his zeal. He gave to the work all 
his energies and carried more the burden of that mission than 
any other man of his time. It proved too much for his physical 
nature, which could not bear the incessant labors, and consequently 
on the 1st of December, 1856, he departed this life. 

Of him Elder Woodruff writes in his journal: "He died 
December 1st, 1856, twenty minutes past 10 o'clock. He was aged 
forty years, nine months, and seven days. We went immediately 
to his house where we found his wives and children weeping 
bitterly. Jesse C. Little, Leonard W. Hardy, Daniel H. Wells, 
Doctors Sprague, and Dunyon, and Israel Ivins, stood by him as 
he breathed his last. As 1 gazed upon his tabernacle of clay, 
I felt to exclaim, a mighty man in Zion is laid low, a valiant man 
in Israel and a great champion of the Kingdom of God is taken 
from us ! We feel his loss deeply. For two months it seemed as 
though he had been hurried to close up his work. He had been 
preaching for several months calling upon the people to repent. 
His voice had been like the trumpet of the Angel of God. He 
has labored night and day until prostrated by sickness. He called 
at the Historian's office on the 19th of November which was his 
last day out. During his sickness, he beheld a glorious vision from 
which he related to the brethren all he had seen of the spirit 
world. ,, 

Of President Grant, Elder Woodruff records the following 
testimony by Brigham Young: "We have no cause to mourn 
for Brother Grant. He is well off. He has lived in advance of his 
age and is better fitted for eternity in the forty years of his life- 
time than many would be in one hundred years. " 

Elder Woodruff records among the closing events of those 
years the sufferings and other experiences of the hand-cart com- 
panies. He tells of the anxiety about those who were overtaken by 
the storms in Wyoming. Relief parties were sent out, provisions 
were forwarded, and at the fire sides of the Saints, there were 
fervent prayers for the protection of their unfortunate brethren 
and sisters struggling to reach the land of Zion — the goal of their 
ambition, and the object of their devotion. 

On the 12th of October, 1856, Elder Woodruff records the 
ordination of Leonard W. Hardy and Jesse C. Little as the first 
and second counselors to the presiding bishop, Edward » Hunter. 


About this time, Frederick Kesler was ordained bishop of the 
16th ward, a position which he held with honor for nearly one- 
half century. 

Through all the latter months of 1856, the work of the Ref- 
ormation was going on. There was quite a universal spirit fav- 
oring the highest and purest standard of life. Men of a sensitive 
and a religious nature found within themselves an excessive con- 
scientiousness that sometimes made them imagine they were sin- 
ners because of a state of perfection they saw, but could not feel. 
Such a condition brought with it doubts and misgivings. Some 
of the very best men in the Church felt their unworthiness and 
shrank from responsibilities which they imagined others could ful- 
fill better than they. President Woodruff records at this time that 
he and Lorenzo Snow called upon President Young and offered 
to surrender their apostleship. They had received it at his hands 
and were willing to give it up in favor of any one that the Presi- 
dent might think more competent and more worthy. President 
Young expressed his perfect satisfaction with them and his con- 
fidence in their integrity and labors, and gave them every assur- 
ance of his love and blessing. 

There were those, however, in those days who were not so 
conscientious and by nature so upright. They took advantage of 
the repentant and humble condition of others. They exercised 
authority that was unjust and harmful. The dangers of the ex- 
cesses of a certain class began to be felt and restraint was put 
upon them. When the movement had accomplished the good in- 
tended and dangers arose, the Reformation subsided and has gone 
into history with a mixture of evil with a vast amount of good. 
Elder Woodruff records his belief that the Reformation had a 
great effect for good upon the lives and the conduct of the 
people. It also had a tendency to separate those who were in- 
sincere and untrustworthy. It was a judgment upon the Saints 
that they themselves pronounced in their willingness or unwilling- 
ness to be in harmony with the spirit of the times. 

The spirit of the leaders at that time when the call to re- 
pentance was loudest was one of the most enthusiastic and God- 
fearing character. They felt themselves in the presence of heav- 
enly beings and constantly answerable to God for the condition 
of the people Elder Woodruff speaks of a tongue lashing which 


he received from one of his brethren who did not take kindly to 
the spirit and methods of the times. The man did not care to 
have his conduct brought into question. He had repented and 
been baptized once and the repetition of repentance was not in 
harmony with his feelings, and he resisted the call made upon him . 
by his brethren who did not hesitate and who were not easily 
brushed aside in their purpose and determination to bring about a 
reformation. To those who did not take kindly to the spirit of 
those times, it looked like an invasion of their personal liberty. 

In his journal, Apostle Woodruff records a dream related to 
him by Heber C. Kimball, which reflected not alone the latter's 
views of the times, but the general spirit among the leaders. The 
dream runs as follows : 

"I dreamed that I was traveling with a companion, and we 
came to a powerful, rapid stream of water like the Niagara River. 
The waves were rolling very high and increasing in size. They 
had been muddy, but were getting clear. As we came to this 
rushing stream, we did not know how we should get over it. I 
turned my eyes a few moments from my companion, and when 
I looked back I saw him on the other side of the river and climb- 
ing a steep hill. I did not know how he got there. I wanted to 
cross, so I called to him as loud as I could to stop and wait for me, 
but he paid no attention to me, but went on as fast as he could. 
Then a person came to me and said you have an iron rod in your 
hand, which I perceived I had. It was several feet long. The 
angel said to me : 'You must use this rod and feel your way over 
the river/ Then I awoke. 

"I considered my dream and interpreted it as follows: My 
companion was J. M. Grant, who had suddenly died and left me, 
and was on the other side of the veil. The waters mean the people. 
They are increasing in strength and growing better and clearer. 
The iron rod in the word of God, which I must cling to till I get 
through life. I consider there are great things awaiting this 


CELEBRATION OF 24th, 1857. 

Words of Brigham Young. — Talk by the Indian Chief, Aropene. — 
Assassination of Parley P. Pratt. — Return of Thomas B. Marsh to 
the Church. — Celebration of the Twenty-fourth in Big Cotton- 
wood Canyon. — News of the Army's Approach. 

The year 1857 made its appearance in the midst of an unusual 
and extraordinary snowstorm. The ushering in of the new year 
in such a manner was pretentous of the stormy and extraordinary 
experiences of the Saints. Elder Woodruff records that he passed 
most of the day in company with President Young and Franklin 
D. Richards. They were actively engaged in compiling Church 
history. It is remarkable how completely attached to the leaders 
of the Church Elder Woodruff was. His trust in them was both 
complete and sublime. He never found occasion to suppose for 
one moment that these leaders ever proved unworthy of the trust 
he imposed in them. In his mind, Brigham Young was a Prophet 
of God, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, as truly and perfectly as was 
Samuel of old, or Peter, or Paul. His reverence and respect for the 
living oracles were as perfect as for the dead. The words of both 
Joseph and Brigham, he was always careful to write down in his 
journal. In time when the sermons were recorded by reporters of 
the Church, he confined his record to sayings that were made when 
there was no reporter present. 

On the 11th of January, in the Eighteenth ward, President 
Young addressed the people and from his sermon Elder Woodruff 
records among other things these words : "It is sometimes taught 
among us that we should follow Brother Joseph or Brother Brig- 
ham, or some other leader, and do as they say, and that is all that 
is required. Now this is in one sense a false doctrine. No man 
should trust solely the testimony of another. He should have a di- 
rect testimony from God for himself. Then obedience is intelli- 
gent and not blind. I might have listened to Joseph Smith testify 
to the truth of the Book of Mormon until I was as old as Methuse- 
lah, and in the end I would have gone away in darkness had I not 


received a testimony from God that he was a prophet and that he 
knew by revelation whereof he spoke. Men should get the spirit 
of God and then live by it." 

In those days there was a strong sympathetic interest in the 
welfare of the Indians. The better ones among them were feeling 
constantly greater confidence in the people and in their leaders. 
They had a real friendship for those white men who treated them, 
not only kindly, but with high consideration for their rights. The 
Indian felt that there were reasons why he should command re- 
spect as well as receive justice. Aropene seems to have been a 
chief specially favored among the Indians and respected by the 
Saints. In the early part of that year, Elder Woodruff records 
that this chief delivered a strong discourse to the Saints in which 
he exhorted them to respect the counsel of their leaders and to 
abstain especially from the use of liquor, and to do right in all 

On the 17th of February of this year, Elder Woodruff ad- 
dressed a meeting of the bishops and gives in his journal a brief 
synopsis of his instructions to them. "No man should boast of 
the authority and power of the priesthood, or contend about the 
comparative greatness of a seventy or a high priest. Men should 
not boast of that power until they have received some manifesta- 
tion of it, and when they receive it they will not feel like boasting 
about it. Its power will create humility and not pride. It is sel- 
dom that I have seen the power of the priesthood made manifest 
among the children of men in our day to any very great degree. 
There are, however, some instances. One was when the Prophet 
Joseph beheld the sick and the dying in his dooryard, and when 
they were also strewn along the banks of the river for two miles. 
He arose and shook himself like an old Hon and commenced at his 
tent door and healed all the people who were not dead on both 
sides of the river, by the power of God, and his voice was as the 
voice of God and the earth almost trembled under his feet as he 
went along commanding the sick to arise and be made whole. It 
was also made manifest by Joseph while in prison and in chains 
in Missouri. 

"Again, David Patten was taken by an armed mob under a 
United States warrant. When he was surrounded by about forty 

CELEBRATION OF 24th, 1857. 379 

such men who were acting under the garb of law, and who forbade 
him to say one word in his own defense, he arose in the power of 
God and held them fast to their seats until he had addressed them 
for about one-half hour. He told them that they were cowards, 
rascals, and villains, and proved it to them and they had not the 
power to harm one hair of his head, and they let him and Warren 
Parish go free. 

"This power was again made manifest by President Brigham 
Young on the banks of the Missouri River at Winter Quarters, 
when the merchants brought up goods to sell to the brethren who 
were going to the mountains. Old Major Miller, the Indian agent, 
was there, surrounded by officers. In order to show his great au- 
thority, he told the merchants who owned some alcohol not to roll 
a barrel off the boat or he would knock the head of the barrel in 
and pour the liquor upon the ground. President Young thereupon 
stepped up and told the men to roll it out. Miller and his officers 
turned pale, and the liquor was rolled out and nobody was hurt. 
Other instances might be named where the power of the priest- 
hood has been strongly manifested. These men never boasted of 
it, and they never will." 

March 1st brought Elder Woodruff to his 50th birthday. 
About this time he recorded in his journal instructions from Pres- 
ident Young upon the importance of keeping a journal. The 
President quotes from instructions from the Prophet Joseph on 
the subject. He shows that the written testimony of the things of 
God is quite as important as the spoken testimony, that the world 
will be judged by what is written in the books, and that where it 
is the duty to record the manifestations of the spirit of God and 
men neglect to fulfil that duty, the spirit will be witdrawn from 
them. "Were you to be brought before the civil authorities and 
accused of a crime or a misdemeanor, you may be punished if you 
cannot prove from your journal that you were somewhere else 
and are innocent. Your enemies may prevail against you." 

These words from the lips of Brigham Young in those early 
days are significant because of the position the enemies of the 
Church sought to place him in. How often he was subject to ac- 
cusations which were laid at his door and which the enemies in- 
sisted were true if he could not prove his innocence. How often 


that has been the case in the history of the Latter-day Saints con- 
cerning whom, in the minds of their enemies, there are no pre- 
sumptions whatever of innocence. The order of proof with them 
has been different too often from that followed by the world in 
the administration of law and justice. From these admonitions of 
the Prophet it may be seen that so far as the Latter-day Saints 
are concerned, they may often be compelled to prove their inno- 
cence, for their enemies will not treat them with the fairness with 
which they treat one another, and regard men as innocent until 
they are proven guilty. 

Just before the opening of spring conference, on March 23rd, 
President Woodruff officiated in the dedication of the baptismal 
font which had been erected by the people of the Fourteen Ward. 
The semi-annual conference in those days created a great deal of 
interest as well as anxiety because of those whose names were an- 
nounced for the first time as missionaries to the nations of the 
earth. As the list was read at the close of conference, a profound 
silence fell upon the entire congregation, as wives and mothers, as 
well as fathers and husbands, never knew when the minute call 
would come to them or to their household. 

This spring the missionaries adopted the hand-cart method of 
crossing the plains. They were an enthusiastic body of men who 
on the 23rd of April hitched themselves to their carts and made 
their way through the canyons and over the mountains to the 
Missouri River and other terminal points, from which they adopt- 
ed a more convenient method of travel. 

Elder Woodruff records in his journal on June 23rd that the 
"eastern mail arrived bringing the sad news of the assassination of 
Elder Parley P. Pratt, who had been killed near Ft. Smith in 
Arkansas, by a man named McLean." 

Apostle Woodruff was always careful in his journal to say 
something of the lives of men and women whose integrity to God 
he knew and esteemed. He rarely failed to record his testimony 
of those who were valiant when anything important occurred in 
their lives, or when they died. Of a Sister Vose who had just 
come to the Valleys he said : "She was seventy-seven years of age 
and rode 1,200 miles in twenty-three days, at least one-half the 
distance by team. She has been a member of the Church almost 

CELEBRATION OF 24th, 1857. 381 

from the beginning, and has given thousands of dollars to build 
up the Kingdom and to assist the elders in their ministry." 

Just about this time, he records the return of Thomas B. 
Marsh to the fold. This man had once been president of the 
Twelve Apostles. He had forsaken the Church and in time he was 
forsaken by his family and his friends. There still, however, re- 
mained within him a lingering testimony of the spirt that had once 
led him to a higher and better life. He appealed by letter to 
President Young to be restored to the Church. The request was 
granted by the President who said : "Let him be baptized and con- 
firmed and then come to the Valleys." This brother reached Salt 
Lake City, and on the 16th of September, 1857, was presented by 
President Young to the congregation in their Sabbath meeting. As 
they gazed upon him, they saw a wreck — a relic of his former self. 
He was now crppled and palsied in body, miserable and unhappy 
in his spirit. When he arose, he called the attention of the Saints 
to himself as an object of pity and commiseration, and warned the 
Saints against apostasy and asked them to forgive him. Presi- 
dent Young put his request to a vote and he was unanimously re- 
ceived into the fellowship of his brethren and sisters. A few years 
later he died in Ogden. 

The approach of mid-summer awakened in the hearts and 
feelings the patriotic spirit of a devoted body of pioneers, who 
loved their religion and who consequently loved their country. 
The Fourth of July was celebrated as usual by a "splendid mil- 
itary performance." The procession disbanded before the Gov- 
ernor's office at noon. 

They loved their country and they also loved their religion. 
Their advent into the Valleys of the Mountains was a mile-stone 
in what to their minds was the greatest historical event of modern 
times. That event must not be forgotten. Future generations 
must hold it in sacred remembrance, for it was God's history 
which the world some time would recognize by appropriate and 
almost universal observance. The remembrances of the pioneer 
journey were green in the memories of all but the little children. 
The Twenty-fourth of July recalled the scenes at one thousand 
camp firesides on the plains and in the mountains. It reminded 
them of suffering, recalled their hopes, and strengthened their 


faith. They were witnesses of God's providence in dispelling 
fears that human courage could not overcome, and in removing 
obstacles that seemed to them insurmountable. 

On the 22nd of July, 1857, a great procession of people might 
have been seen wending their way along the eastern hillsides of 
the Salt Lake Valley on their way to a lake in Big Cottonwood 
canyon. The night of that day, they camped at the granite quarry 
from which the rock was then already being hewn for the founda- 
tion of the Temple. On the following morning, President Young 
and the leaders of the Church led the procession up tnrough the 
canyon to a place selected for the celebration. The first arrived at 
noon and the last came in about midnight. Of this occasion Presi- 
dent Woodruff writes : "This was a great turnout. The company 
numbered 2,587 persons, 468 carriages and wagons, 1,028 horses 
and mules, and 332 oxen and cows. Flags were raised upon the 
highest peaks and the stars and stripes were unfurled upon the 
highest trees. The surrounding scenes of mountains, valleys, 
lakes, woods, and meadows made the sight the most interesting I 
ever beheld. We had prayer at night and an address from Pres- 
ident Young. There were five bands in attendance to discourse 
sweet strains of music/' 

Next day being the Twenty-fourth, ten years had passed 
since the faithful pioneers entered the Valleys of the Mountains. 
The day was to be celebrated in an enthusiastic manner. The 
program consisted of the firing of cannon, speeches, songs, recita- 
tions, and" music. They were also there to render their thanks- 
giving and praise to God for His care over them, and above all 
for the testimony of His spirit, which burned within them. Some 
engaged in trout fishing, others roamed over the hills, and there 
were social pastimes that promised a great day for the Saints. 

At noon, Bishop Smoot, Judson Stoddard, Judge Elias Smith, 
and O. P. Rockwell arrived in camp. The first named two brought 
the unhappy news with them from the East that the government 
had withdrawn the mail contract, and were sending a new gov- 
ernor, judges, and 2500 troops to Utah to suppress an insurrec- 
tion that had never existed. The action of the government was 
based upon the falsehoods sent broadcast by Judge Drummond 
and other unprincipled'men. 

CELEBRATION OF 24th, 1857. 383 

President Young met the issue in a spirit of indignation and 
with a determination not to submit to another injustice. At day- 
light, on the 25th, the company broke up and commenced their 
homeward journey. Their joy and enthusiasm had now been 
turned to wonderment, anxiety, and sorrow. The approaching 
army was the theme of their conversation. Dark clouds hovered 
over them. A new problem had to be solved. What was to be 
done? Where could they go? What was to be the result of an- 
other injustice perpetrated against them? Their faith was again 
brought to their service. They exercised it by humiliating them- 
selves in prayer and fasting. The spirit of joy had been trans- 
formed into one of the greatest solemnity. 


WAR TIMES, 1857. 

Deposit of Church Records in Temple Foundation. — Approach of the 
Army. — Present of a Team. — John D. Lee. — Visit of Captain Van 
Vliet. — Lot Smith. — Col. Alexander Writes President Young. — Com- 
munication from Governor Cumming to Governor Young. — Mir- 
aculous Escapes. — High Price of Salt at Army Headquarters. — 
Prediction of Calamity to the Nation. — A Poetic Tribute by Eliza- 
R. Snow. 

Apostle Woodruff was asked by President Young to notify 
the Twelve to meet at the Temple foundation, on August 13th. 
The purpose of the meeting was to deposit the works of the 
Church in the foundation of the Temple and to dedicate the cor- 
ner-stone containing the deposit. About 7 o'clock in the morning, 
President Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Daniel H. Wells, 
John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Erastus Snow, Franklin D. Rich- 
ards, also Elders Truman O. Angel, Alonzo H. Raleigh, Benja- 
min F. Mitchell, Jonathan Pugmire, Jr., Edward L. Parry, Henry 
Maiben, Jesse C. Little, Albert Carrington, John Lyon, Joseph A. 
Young, and Brigham Young, sons of Brigham Young, met on the 
grounds where President Young and Wilford Woodruff packed 
about 65 books, chiefly Church works, and a number of coins in a 
stone box, whose dimensions were as follows : length 2\ feet, 
depth 20 inches, and width 19 inches. At 15 minutes to 8 o'clock 
the lid was put on, soldered with lead and covered with plaster of 
paris. The stone box was turned bottom side up and placed in the 
south-east corner. After this a dedicatory prayer was offered by 
President Young. 

Three days later, President Young delivered a discourse to 
the thousands who had congregated for the purpose of receiving 
instructions with reference to the policy to be pursued respecting 
the approach of the so-called Johnston's army. There was natur- 
ally a great deal of anxiety and heartfelt prayer over a situation 
that seemed to forebode nothing but evil and misfortune to the 
Saints. The vast multitude, however, with uplifted hands pledged 

WAR TIMES, 1857. 385 

their support to the President and the leaders of the Church. It 
was one of the most important days, says Elder Woodruff, ever 
witnessed in Israel. 

On September 5th, a messenger arrived with the news that 
General Johnston was at Ash Hollow, with nearly 2,000 men who 
were traveling fifteen miles per day. The people were promised 
that, if they would follow counsel, they should never be driven 
from the Valleys. 

The spirit of the times, and the willingness of men to make 
any sacrifice are well illustrated in a little circumstance which at 
this point Elder Woodruff records in his journal. President 
Young had sent for him and asked if he had a team, to which the 
latter replied : " 'Yes, I have a pair of small ponies.' 

'Can you spare them?' he asked. 

I hesitated a moment and then answered, 'Yes, I can do any- 
thing that is wanted.' 

President 'Young then said: T have a pair of good horses 
which I wish you to have as you are laboring here in the Histor- 
ian's Office. 

I was taken by surprise, but accepted them and felt very 
thankful. They were a fine, large team of sorrel horses." 

The Saints now realized that though far away in the Valleys 
of the Mountains, they were nevertheless the objects of hatred by 
many throughout the nation. Men sought popularity among the 
masses by denouncing them. At this time, Stephen A. Douglas 
was receiving "honorable mention" for President of the United 
States. He had known President Joseph Smith in the early days 
of the Church, and had defended him against the injustice of his 
enemies, but he knew how unpopular the people were and sought 
the support of the masses in a bitter denunciation of the Saints. 
Elder Woodruff says that Sunday, August 30th, President Young, 
himself, and others were engaged in a discussion of the Douglas 
speech, which was answered by Albert Carrington. 

Captain Van Vliet of the United States army reached the city 
on the 8th of September, and at once had an interview with Gov- 
ernor Young. The next day he met with the Presidency and the 
Twelve and presented a letter of introduction to Governor Young 
which was read to those present. Little, it seems, was said on 



this occasion, but there was a deep-seated anxiety in the hearts of 
all those present. Later in the day, the President introduced the 
Captain to his wives and children. He then escorted him through 
his orchard and garden, and then went with him to Albert Car- 
rington's orchard, where he introduced the Captain to Mrs. Car- 
rington. He asked her if she was willing to destroy her beautiful 
orchard and leave it desolate for her religion's sake. She said she 
was, and would remain up nights to do so if it became necessary. 

The Captain was much impressed by the thrift and industry 
of the Latter-day Saints, and in his interview with President 
Young said: "The Mormons have been lied about more than 
any people I ever knew." He admitted his belief that Judge 
Drummond's lies, charging the Saints with burning court records, 
led to the sending of the army to Utah. Governor Young there- 
upon told Captain Van Vliet of the impositions that had been 
heaped upon the Latter-day Saints, and said that the people did 
not wish to fight the United States. "If we are driven to it, we 
shall put our trust in God and do the best we can. He has set His 
Kingdom upon the earth and it will never fail ; and if they drive us 
to fight, God will overthrow those who do so. We are the sup- 
porters of the United States Constitution. We love the Consti- 
tution and the laws of our country, but it is the corrupt adminis- 
tration of these laws that we suffer from and not from the laws. If 
the laws had been enforced in Missouri, Governor Boggs would 
have been hanged and many of his friends who took part in kill- 
ing and driving the Saints. The government officers who have 
been sent here have no interest in common with ours. They have 
sought to destroy us. Captain Van Vliet, we have treated all men 
who have been sent to us as government officials as well as we 
have you, and will treat them well ; but if they drive us to fight, 
we shall put our trust in God and do the best we can." 

The Captain, who was deeply impressed by the statement of 
Governor Young, felt thoroughly convinced that he meant every 
word he said. On the 13th he attended services in the Tabernacle 
and listened with attention to sermons from John Taylor and 
President Brigham Young. On the evening of that day, the Cap- 
tain had another interview with the leaders, in the course of which 
he said: "If our government pushes forward this thing and 

WAR TIMES, 1857. 387 

makes war against you, I shall withdraw from the army, for I 
will not take a hand in shedding the blood of American citizens." 

Upon the departure of Captain Van Vliet, Elder Woodruff 
presented him with a box of peaches which he had raised in his 
own garden. The Captain was accompanied by Dr. Bernhisel. 
The two departed together for the East for the purpose of report- 
ing conditions in Utah. 

All the time these agitations were going on, the Saints pur- 
sued the even tenor of their ways, raising fruit and grain. There 
were home missionaries among them preaching home industry 
and self-support 

The purpose of the authorities was to impede the progress of 
the army and so delay it that the government might have an op- 
portunity to make an investigation into the real condition of af- 
fairs in Utah, and after learning them, withdraw the army which 
was then approaching Salt Lake City. A body of men under the 
command of Daniel H. Wells and Lot Smith had been sent to the 
front to stop the progress of the army. This they did by stamped- 
ing the cattle and horses. They were enjoined by President Young 
to avoid the shedding of blood except in self-defense. 

Those who had thus volunteered to act in the defense of their 
homes and their liberties were without sufficient equipments and 
provisions to sustain them in their defensive warfare. They had 
no well-equipped commissary like that with which an army is pro- 
vided. The teams and wagons were a part of the equipment which 
belonged to the farm. They were needed at home. Very natural- 
ly in such an emergency they suffered great privations and were 
anxious that the difficulties and dangers might end as speedily 
as possible. 

Before Captain Van Vliet had left, he promised to hasten to 
Washington and speak in our favor. President Young told him 
that the Lord would bless him in so doing, for he felt that He 
had sent him to Utah. On his return, the Captain endeavored to 
persuade the army to remain at Ham's Fork for the winter, but 
the Tenth regiment swore it would come on at all hazards. The 
Captain then informed them that if they did, they would get a dif- 
ferent reception from anything they had ever encountered before. 

Just at this time, when the advance of the army was the all- 


absorbing topic and the dangers of its approach weighed heavily 
upon the leaders, John D. Lee added to their distress the news of 
the Mountain Meadow massacre. He had reached Salt Lake City 
from his home in Harmony on the 29th of September, 1857. 

At this place in his record and at this time, Apostle Woodruff 
gives the account of the Mountain Meadow massacre which John 
D. Lee gave to President Young : "A company of California em- 
igrants of about 150 men, women, and children, many of them 
belonging to the mobbers of Illinois and Missouri, had been mas- 
sacred. They had many cattle and horses with them. As they 
traveled along south, they went damning Brigham Young, Heber 
C. Kimball and the heads of the Church, saying that Joseph Smith 
ought to have been shot long before he was. They wanted to do 
all the evil they could, so they poisoned beef and gave it to the In- 
dians and some of them died. They poisoned the springs of water 
and some of the Saints died. The Indians became enraged at their 
conduct and surrounded them on a prairie. The emigrants formed 
a bulwark of their wagons, but the Indians fought them five days 
until they killed all their men — about 60 in number. They then 
rushed into the corral and cut the throats of their women and 
children, except some eight or ten children which they brought 
with them and sold to the whites. 

"The Indians then stripped the men and women of their 
clothing and left them in the broiling sun. When Brother Lee 
found it out, he took some men with him to the place and buried 
their bodies. It was a horrible task. The whole air was filled with 
an awful stench. The Indians obtained all their property, cattle, 
horses, wagons, etc. There was another large company of emi- 
grants who had 1,000 head of cattle. They were also damning 
both Indians and Mormons, but were afraid of sharing the same 
fate. Brother Lee had to send interpreters with them to the In- 
dians to try to save their lives." 

The foregoing statement from the journal of Elder Woodruff 
which was recorded at that time is of special importance in view 
of the fact that the enemies of the Church for years endeavored to 
fasten upon President Young some responsibility for that awful 
affair. There is nothing in the statement whatever which bears 
the least semblance of deception. It was one of those straightfor- 

WAR TIMES, 1857. 389 

ward records which characterize Elder Woodruff's journal from 
beginning to end. Then the character and integrity of the man 
are both guarantees of the truthfulness of the statement made by 
John D. Lee to President Young as recorded in Elder Woodruff's 

If President Young neglected at this time to give the report of 
John D. Lee as much attention as it perhaps should have received, 
and if an investigation was not immediately instituted, there is 
ample excuse to be found in the circumstances of those times. 
The army was pressing upon the people and uttering dire threats 
as to what would take place when it reached the Valleys. 

Immediately following the record of John D. Lee's visit, Elder 
Woodruff says in his journal : "An express came in at night say- 
ing that the troops were near Bridger and had formed into three 
bodies while traveling. General Wells sent word to President 
Young to let them come on to Echo Canyon and there give them 
battle. At 6 o'clock on the morning of the 30th the drums beat, 
and an army of soldiers, some 400 in number, paraded the streets. 
They were in readiness to march at a moment's notice to the seat 
of war. We had at this time about 800 men in the mountains. It 
was a solemn time; for the armies of the Gentiles were making 
war upon us because of our religion, and we had to defend our- 
selves against a nation of 25,000,000 people, and the war had just 
commenced. We had to trust in God for the results. We resolved 
to do what we could and leave the work in His hands. All were 
anxiously awaiting the arrival of the express. I told President 
Young that I was on hand at any moment to go into the mountains 
when he would say the word. I went up in the evening to the 
President's office and learned that the California mail had ar- 
rived. I heard